Feeling Alive Can Be Scary


Today I stopped to do some work at Chick-Fil-A because free wifi, a chicken sandwich, and the instrumental version of hit worship songs always make sense. In the corner a couple booths away, a number of young men who were working construction and finishing their lunch break were laughing together. My ears perked up when the mentioned the Bible. I heard one of them (with his back toward me) say, “Who could believe this sh*t?” In that moment my heart started beating quickly and I ran through the imaginary, light-speed scenario in my head… what if I shouted out, “Hey, I do. Do you want to talk about it?”

 Another guy at his table answered before I could, “Have you read it? All it basically says is ‘be a good person’ and I can do that on my own.”

I sat there. Helplessly. Their conversation quickly moved on to something else and told myself if he walks by my table, I’m going to tell him I am one of those people who not only ‘believes this sh*t,' but dedicates her entire life to it.

A few minutes later he walked right by my table.

And I said nothing.

NOTHING, you guys.

Last night I talked with a group of college students about when they last felt truly alive. Many of their answers shocked them: when her mom had cancer, when one was volunteering at a camp and had the prompt to talk to a very closed off girl, when challenged, when out of her comfort zones etc.

We concluded that we feel most alive at the very end of ourselves.

This is where God and his powerful Holy Spirit take over.

I am sitting here now, less than twenty-four hours later, regretting a chance to feel extra alive. I asked God for forgiveness and the courage, somehow to be bolder. Braver. That courage won’t come from me. It will only come where he begins and I end.

Obedience is a sticky thing. It often doesn’t make sense to us in the moment. If it did, we wouldn’t need God or his strength at all. I want to act when I feel God is asking me to. I want to risk for my God and his word. Maybe it starts with the construction crews eating chicken sandwiches for lunch.

Turns out feeling alive can feel really scary.