To me, the thing that is worse than death is betrayal. You see, I could conceive death, but I could not conceive betrayal. ~Malcom X
I just finished the book “Running With The Giants: What the Old Testament Heroes Want You to Know About Life and Leadership” by John Maxwell.. I bought the book because I am a big fan of John’s writing on leadership. The book is built on the biblical verse:
My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord has set out for me. ~Acts 20:24b
The gist of the book is that we are in a race in a stadium and greats from the Old Testament come out of the stands to give us encouragement. For, as John says:
Encouragement is the oxygen of the Soul. ~John Maxwell
The book got me reflecting on my own life and a race that I started when I was in my early 30s. At that time, my life, thanks to living it on my own terms, was a shambles. I was recently divorced and, once I realized my folly, was trying desperately to put things right, which meant, reuniting with my ex-wife and recreating the family that I had broken apart because I was a very selfish individual. I was depressed, lost, a mess.
It was during this time that I started going to church. At first, it was to manipulate my ex into liking me again for she was a long time Christian but it became for me, a spiritual journey. During that journey, I felt I was being told to stay the course, to keep focused forward and run the marathon required to reunite my family. It took me a few years but I did put it back together. The reunification was seen as something of a modern day miracle.
Fast forward 13 years, and I was again divorced. This time not of my own doing. It was at this time, that I felt betrayed. I felt betrayed by a Christian ex and I felt betrayed by God. I had run the race set out for me, run the race consistently and ended up having my heart broken. For this pain, I blamed God.
Because of what I view as betrayal, I have a difficult time trusting God has the best in store for me despite that being a theme of the New Testament. My faith that God exists has not wavered but, I have a difficult time putting stock in some Biblical precepts. My attendance at church is spotty. My reading of the Bible a rarity. For the most other parts of my life, I do live by loving my fellow man, by trying to serve those that are part of my life.
My logic (or lack of logic) is that I was betrayed so it is ok if I do on my terms. Is this rational? Perhaps not. Still, I have a hard time completely trusting again. I have a hard time believing that God has the best in store for me. I have a hard time believing God has got my back. It is very difficult to trust God when I have this undercurrent of belief that I have been betrayed by God.