When I take an up close, personal look at my faith, I am most amazed not during times of relative peace and security. Rather I am most amazed at what this relationship I have with Jesus does for me when I walk through tough times, when I’ve made mistakes, when the road ahead is marked with uncertainty, or when I feel the weight of some heavy burden on my shoulders. There is this overwhelming sense of God and the reality that my life is firmly in his grasp.

More than ever I look at the brokenness of the world around me, the sensual and selfish desirings of the human heart, the cold ignorance of the rich and powerful who continue to gain from injustice, the weak will of the addicted soul craving their next fix too strung out to care anymore, those who have it relatively good in the world and care more about their retirement than a dying soul…and I have to ask, “Where is God and where are God’s people?” But the moment I ask the question, the irony of it all hits me. These frustrations have little to do with people, churches, religions, organizations, cities, governments, world powers, or anything of the sort. It has more to do with the direction I feel like I’m headed into. These thoughts and frustrations have more to do with how I will respond to them.

Do I believe my life will make a difference in the narrative of God’s kingdom? I don’t know and I propose that’d be the wrong question. But the bigger issue is that I want to find an overwhelming cause where work needs to be done in my world. I want to spend less time philosophizing and posturing and rather live and be Christ’s hands and feet.

I am tired of getting caught up in the medium and not the message. There is much to be done in the world, and God desires some obedient, willing soul who would look upon a mountain and foolishly say, “We can take it.” I think God can work with that sort of foolishness. God can work with anything or anyone, why do we complicate it so in our Christian understanding?

I am sick of Christ-followers who are so caught up with their plot of vineyard of God’s kingdom, that they belittle and disregard their fellow laborers in Christ. Who are we to say that a church, an organization, or a group of people are not in the will of God? How is it that we fight more readily with our brothers and sisters than we fight against the encroaching darkness of a world system? Why have we turned into self-righteous, Pharisaical, religion workers? Is this what the grace and compassion of Christ and his work have taught us?

I have few convictions and many opinions. There is not much I am sure of anymore. There are always multiple accounts, different perspectives, and charged emotions that run through it all. What I am sure of, what I would stake my life on, is Jesus and his kingdom. The sheer reality of God in our lives, his ability to make us his own, how we are now a part of his body in the earth, and our ability to respond to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit…of these things I am sure of.

It’s not about having the right thing to say, or that I’m always right, or that my opinion even matters. The thing that keeps the world going round is that we care, that our hearts are overwhelmed with compassion, that we should prefer others above ourselves, that we find our identity and purpose in our Heavenly Father, and that at the end of our lives we would have done Christ’s will to the fullest.

Ashish Joy