Where are my rewards?

A long time ago, I was told that Jesus Christ was coming back for His people- the righteous. Not just the ones in church but the ones that followed Him, kept his commands, and showed love to everyone. And I believed. I trusted that if I live a life based on holiness then I should also be a chosen one. Now, a decade has passed since I gave my life to Christ and I can’t see my rewards. In fact, this life of holiness has become inconvenient for me. And I can no longer withstand. All this toiling seems to be in vain.

I’m wedged between wanting to pursue spiritual things and still clinging to the natural things of this world. At some point in my christian walk, I developed a love for the ‘natural world’- going out to parties and listening to ‘worldly music’, robing myself with jewelry and make-up, and clothes that may not fit the modesty code. For once, I started to take pride in the way I looked physically. Like everyone else, I wanted to look and feel Hot. Before, the words- simple, plain-jane, boring were always used to describe me and my fashion sense. And I found no problem with that. I was always picked out of a crowd as the Christian- just for wearing my long ankle length skirts. My clothes were never fitted- always one size bigger which never drew attention to my shapely physique. And I liked it that way, until those who knew me (non-christians) started to point out how dull I looked for a young girl. I began to re-examine myself and my wardrobe and agreed. Soon, I began to purchase new clothes to replace the old grandma-looking ones I previously owned. And slowly, I could also observe my potential.

I started going out with my non-christian friends, and expectedly I developed their own lifestyle and wanted to look as good as they did in their clothes- if not better. Maybe it comes with this innate idea of always wanting to be the best. The best teacher, the best athlete, the best student, even the best Christian. 

When I was baptized and became a new christian, I really wanted to be the best. I read my bible, studied the verses, learned how to pray, and how to praise God in church. When I didn’t want to wear a hat, I wore it anyway; I wore the long skirts, the no make-up and the no jewelry. I did it all, in hopes that one day I would be the best christian girl. I was at church every Sunday- and I went the extra mile on the bus, the train and the RT. Plus I went during the week, after track practises- whether or not I had assignments to do (I’m a University student). My quandry was that I set an unconscious deadline on how long I would succumb; and when the deadline arose I could not persist with this drill. In my opinion, I felt like I failed because I did not get to stand on the podium- well I did a few times- but I was expecting something greater to come out of “my hard-work”. It really was hard work because maybe God wasn’t exactly in my equation. At that point if I had to face Jesus I would say to Him, “Lord, I did all that you asked of me. I worked diligently, evangelized to strangrers, and my grades suffered because I was at church; so what else do I need to do to be the best?” Clearly, we all have an idea of what the answer would be. Dear Jesus is not looking for ‘the best christian’ is He? 

And I know this now. I know because I didn’t get any award for being the best. I realized that my thought- processes had to change. There are things that you work hard at, and there are others that you have to let God do the work- being a Christian is one of those.  Now I’m trying to attend to spiritual matters, but my arousal from the natural world is still being awoken ever so often. Since, I no longer am trying to reach for the ‘best christian’ title I have nothing to motivate me. Sure, the desire of making it to heaven is ‘up in the air’ but it doesn’t work as a stimulator because it seems so far away. I already went a decade serving God, I can’t promised that I will dedicate my entire life to the church and the ministry for another decade or two. I don’t love it all that much, primarily because I feel inadequate there. I am aware of my natural skills and abilities but no one beckons me to take charge of anything- and that’s what I enjoy most. To have my focus and commitment, I simply must acquire responsibilities so that I can feel useful. In the natural world, I have always found something to do: volunteer, go to school, work, etc

At church, there is nothing for me to do. Everything requires a spiritual gift and I don’t have that. And all the roles seem to be filled anyway. What do I do then? How will I withstand? I want to serve Christ, I want to say, “thy will be done, Lord” but It’s so difficult. What will I gain from surrendering everything and living for Christ? No, I don’t want to lose my soul and yes, I want to make it to heaven someday, but how much do I have to give? These are the questions that I have to figure out personally. I hope that one day, my spirit will be completely convicted to live for Christ so much so that, I will “drop everything and follow Him”. Because, surely I also want to be chosen when Christ returns.

Published by

Shauna-Kay Cassell

I was born in Jamaica and have been residing in Canada for over 20 years. I graduated with Honours Bachelor of Arts degree at University of Toronto, a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration at Seneca College, and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at the University of the West Indies, Mona. I've worked for the former Ministry of Children ad Youth Services (now the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services). Now I'm a Court and Client Representative for the Ministry of the Attorney General. In my spare time, I write press releases, blogs, and news articles for different organizations, including my own website. I write about experiences about travelling, social justice issues, relationship and spirituality. Visit me at shaunacassell.ca

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