I've been reflecting lately on what it means to be a Christian. More specifically, I've been trying to figure out if my life says that I'm a Christian.

Don't get me wrong, I've had an encounter with Christ that I can barely begin to comprehend. If I hadn't, there's no way that I could be the semi-functional person I am today. I'm married, sober, attending University and I have an inkling as to what reality really is. I can honestly tell you that I would be all kinds of disastrous if God hadn't shown up in my life about six years ago. I'd probably be strung out on crystal meth and wondering why the rave scene (ie my life) was so lame.

The past is something hard for me to reflect on. There's a lot of pain there and a lot of unresolved issues that I'd rather not think about. I prefer looking forward to the future, but I don't always know if it's healthy for me. Why, you ask?

Because, for some reason, when I look to the future, I for some reason focus on what isn't there now. I think about all of the ways in which life will be somehow richer and more alive with the presence of God. I try to think about all of the ways in which I will live up to all that I know about the way God's kingdom works in my life and the world around me.

These are good dreams to have. My problem, as I alluded to, is that the natural progression for me is to move from those dreams and straight into castigating myself for their apparent lack in my present life. If I subjected anybody else to the criticism I continually level at myself, they would probably wither up and die in a gibbering fetal position.

This is, I guess, an uncharacteristically vulnerable post for such a public place as a blog. I remember thinking when I started this blog that it would be a journal that maybe some people would read, but I forget to just "be myself" sometimes. Well, here's my neurotic self.

Perhaps some day I'll be able to look at the past and be thankful for all that God did in my life rather than dwell on the pain that I've been subjected to. Maybe someday I'll be able to dream big dreams for the future without condemning myself for not being completely alive to them today. Possibly someday I'll be content today-while it's called today-that God loves me more than I can bear and that He's probably more accepting of who I am than I am of myself.

God, help those "somedays" come sooner rather than later. Amen.