Still Twisted Up in My Midsection

This is how I feel. Like a puddle of yuck by the side of the road.


I am still a bit twisted up, but for different reasons. I am finished wasting away over not studying for my exams as thoroughly as I should have–barely at all–and still passing them. I do occasionally, like right now, feel guilty about my ability to get by, but more importantly,  I think I am disgusted at my apathy. I assume one day my ability to get by will cease to exist, and then I will be stuck not knowing how to do it any other way. I just want to finish school, to get a job, and to do what I think I love, which is teaching, though sometimes I still wrestle with what I perceive to be my calling into ministry. What am I doing with that?

Really, I just want to find what it is that makes me happy. I think it is teaching. I love it when I am teaching, but can I see myself doing it forever? Yeah. But, I want to sense that passion that I see in other people for doing what they love. I want to be in a position where I can do what I love and not worry if it makes money. I suppose that is what everyone wants. I guess I am not finished stressing about any of this, but I have just added more stress on top of it. And, as always, I have shoved it all down so I don’t have to deal with it. I suppose one day I will explode. Then I will really look like a puddle of yuck by the side of the road.


I am struggling right now with being a Christian and not liking my pastor. I feel sort of shallow for disliking him, because he hasn’t really done anything wrong. He just doesn’t wrestle with the text in an intellectual way. He processes it emotionally and thinks it is okay to stop there. I want a pastor who stresses himself or herself out over a reading of Scripture that s/he can live with, not who moves solely by emotion to interpret it. I want exegesis and hermeneautics. You know, intellectual wrangling, cultural application, and faithful interpretations. I don’t want Muppet videos, funny voices, and jumping up and down. I can get excited about a life-changing, hierarchy-smashing ethic without fireworks. If God’s word doesn’t have the power to change and shape my heart and my mind, no amount of emotion is going to either.

Does this mean I am above emotional response to Scripture? By no means. I simply mean that I don’t think hearts are changed through emotive blasts of performance, but they are changed by the Truth of the words spoken. If the words spoken contain few Truths, it doesn’t matter how excitedly they are spoken. If the words are empty, they bang hollow off the back wall of the church and resound slowly around the room. Their hollowness is not masked by their magnitude or frequency. They are still just words.

So, please give me solid spiritual food. I am finished with the milk. Or am I? Maybe this is my problem: I am not finished with the milk. I am still trying to figure out whether I follow Paul or Apollos. As Paul writes:

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere human beings? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?

Is this my problem? Am I still so worried about the human I follow that I deserve to still drink milk? Maybe, my goal in addressing this problem should be changing my own attitude about it, rather than expecting some type of external change. After all, it makes Bec happy to help lead worship, so I guess I should try to change my own heart before bailing out. I should change my heart to follow Jesus rather than being so needy and leaning on a man who is merely God’s servant. I am sure he is trying to do what he thinks is best. I am sure there those who didn’t like Paul, Peter, Apollos, James or any of the other apostles or early teachers of Christianity, but their dislike for their human leaders did not dissuade them from being part of the Church.


At times like these, I am especially grateful for my relatively new athletic endeavors.

Swimming is going well. Last night, I swam 1000 yards in under twenty minutes, which isn’t bad for me. I was going to time myself on a mile, but I didn’t have much time to swim because I had to get a ride from Bec. I didn’t ride my bike yesterday because my bag was too heavy, and I didn’t want to walk home in the dark. Still, I swam 1600 yards in about 35 minutes. That should count for something.

Running is going okay. I ran five and a half miles yesterday, and I am scheduled to run the same tomorrow morning. After I ran yesterday, my feet felt like I had been hitting the bottoms of them with a hammer. I need new shoes, so I will go get those since I finally got paid. I hope they have a pair of the same ones I got last time. If they do, I will just buy them so I don’t have to try on a bunch of new ones. I could really use new trail shoes, too, but I only have enough money for one pair.

On Sunday, I am going to run with Adam. We are going to run the five miles that we will run together in a race on November 1. Apparently, the race is grueling and Adam wants me to run the trails before race day. Either way, I am running it. I may come in last, but I will finish. If I have to walk, I will finish. The race and practice run should be good times. And good stress release.I am surprised I don’t run more, fueled by my stress.

4 responses to “Still Twisted Up in My Midsection

  1. I haven’t been to church for at least a year now…simply because I thought the pastor was creepy. Not to mention his ‘messages’ were absolutely meaningless. There wasn’t a single ounce of depth to those messages. But it was the creepy factor that did it. I mean, really? A creepy pastor? No thank you.

    As for your calling to the ministry and love of teaching…maybe you should teach at a Catholic school.

    Seriously! 😀

    And don’t beat yourself up over being smart – there will always be someone smarter than you, but yet you’ll never lose your ability to wing it when necessary. Winging it is NOT apathetic. It’s how your brain works best and it gives you the ability to soak in much more detail than the ‘average’ person. It’s ok that you didn’t study your heart out for your exams. The fact that you PASSED them without doing so clearly says you’re prepared for whatever life may throw your way.

  2. unfinishedportraitofsam

    i’m envious of that trail run, corb, no matter how grueling it is. it sounds like a killer race–way more interesting than a a road run : ) i’m proud of you. wish i could join you two–if i’d actually be around November 1 (maybe i will?? that’s my dad’s birthday!), then maybe i could! (oh, stupid maybe.)

    a thought, simplistic, but ya know, take it for what it’s worth: teaching is a kind of and / or involves ministry. ministry, particularly yours, is a kind of / will definitely involve teaching…
    literature, stories, are a way (your way?) into both.
    my point is that should you burn out on one or feel a shift to the other, corb, you will transition BEAUTIFULLY.

    and maybe this too, that as my fortune cookie (god love ’em) told me about a year and a half ago: “you are headed in the right direction.”

    (thank you, i’m available Mondays through Fridays, 9a-5p, for milky spirituality. please account, though, for the time difference, as i’m currently making millions as a consultant in New Zealand. thank you for your consideration.)

  3. You’re a dork, but I love you. Or maybe that should be: You’re a dork, so I love you. 🙂

  4. unfinishedportraitofsam

    it’s true! : )

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