Hapless Christian, how so, hapless?
Great Author: That's my own sense of it, at least sometimes. One cannot control his reaction to things. The "Christian" within, the innate sense of God inborn, knows sin and impropriety, debauchery and injustice. Being holy, not so much through our own will, we react to things in certain ways. And as we mature, we can control this less and less. We become more aware.
So I found myself less and less able to stomach certain things, including my own behavior, though I tried to override my dissatisfaction through the drinking too much wine, escapist stuff, things like that. A gut reaction against falseness. Perhaps I felt I was living in such a blur of disappointment that I felt it in keeping to continually disappoint myself.
It's not a logic, not a list of commandments, albeit helpful as they are, that comes first, but a sense, probably unconscious a lot of the time, that feeling of being uncomfortable with things, the feeling of participating in a lie.
I had a kind of sadness about me, just sort of ingrained. Somethings I could respond to happily, spiritual things, simple things, poems, books, nature, but maybe not so much with some social aspects of life, not that I ever wanted to be a hermit. None of it was rational or thought out, just as if some kind of strange and mysterious inner morals were easily offended. And I rebelled and re-acted, as young people do, as if to push matters, as if not handing a paper in on time in order to do a better job was of a high moral order, which I chuckle over now, somewhat ruefully. Still a mystery why, or what a reaction to something can be. I get embarrassed…
But that's what you have, your gut reaction to things, complicated, seemingly hard to even remotely codify but in an ad hoc way, and that's probably my own laziness. And I made a lot of mistakes. Unaware of the strong Christ within, feeling a bit mystified, I tried to cope. And then you do some counter-productive things, you know. We fail Christ, like the disciples did, being of little faith at least some of the time. As if the Gospels mimic or trace our own journeys and of how we have to listen deeply to hear the voice. A road map, a prediction of our behavior...
Does there come a time when the body rejects, when the heart shifts focus, when we feel anguish at being no longer able to rationalize what we use to be able to, see the element of debauchery in our activities? With sinful behavior then behind us, do we not fear, or at least wonder deeply, about the path before us; do we not feel inadequate to change…
So, I say, yes, hapless, sad for my own failings, sad for my own sins. Maybe that's the way forward. That feeling of being like Jonah on the ship in the storm, knowing you've defied God's will… You want to shake your head sometimes, at your self.
But as I say, or I should say, there is that Christian heart within us, and that is the good thing, something to listen to.
And I think it might just be psychological better for you to accept all the sins of yours that went with learning, to accept your flaws, to understand your shortcomings. You'll be less inclined to think that you missed out on things, because maybe you didn't realize, or even deserve them at the time. That softens the absences in your life, I suppose.