The Habitual UnFaithful: Undoing the Autocorrect of Unbelief
Habitually unfaithful, how does one autocorrect unbelief?
I mean, “She’s a good baptist.” And she did a great job at it, in Sunday school, potlucks, ladies’ auxiliary luncheons, funerals, baby dedications, and Fall Festivals, benefiting the church’s Mission Inner City Salvation Crew.
But when the tables and chairs are neatly stacked, and the last of the rec center’s doors are secure, after the final parents, pick up the last of the stragglers from the youth praise team, you can find this “good baptist,” on the bathroom floor in a heap of terror with hypocrisy, stress hormones, and hysterics as her therapy.
However, it is less than therapeutic. There is no one she can confess her doubts and fears to. No, that would expose her unfaithful reality. And I know, I sound like I am judging her. I promise, I am not. No, I am identifying with her.
Well, not the Baptist part.
But yes, Church of Christ, Mormon, Catholic, Disciples of Christ, Assembly of God, 4th Church of Salvation, just to name a few. Wait, I think there was a Baptist church in there at some point.
Truly, this is neither here nor there, however, it is everywhere, and “it” is the culture of faith and the habitual unfaithful, that is among the most broken, stressed, exhausted, and lost. Again, I identify with all these predicaments, so just be calm and let me explain.
Habitually unfaithful, how does one autocorrect unbelief?
I wrote a Christmas poem.
It flew out of my head like a crazed chimpanzee on a mission to start an outbreak. I drew a picture and ordered a print and frames. Then, I methodically took beautiful photographs and put the “brainiac” idea in my Etsy shop.
Sure, I am a professional author and artist. So, I created the image in high-resolution DPI and ran the poem through Grammarly, to check for spelling errors. None. Well, come to find out, one. A pretty big mistake that got past the grammar technology. Christmas Carol cleverly snuck around my armed guard as Christmas CARROLL.
And while I clearly understand that Carol as in hymn, psalm, or noel, that is spelled with one R, my daughter-in-law’s maiden name is CARROLL.
And I have spelled her name because her mom is also one of my dearest friends, a thousand times. For so long I have autocorrected my autocorrect with CARROLL instead of CAROL… and well, long story short, I published my Christmas poem Etsy listing with this HUGE spelling error.
“Jesus be all over Christmas
And every single one
Every CARROLL that’s rising
Every hymn that’s sung…”
Oh, the humanity.
Ah yes, humanity.
And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
have the habitual practices that expose us as saps…
By default, I have always been a “Christian.” I was born and bred into belief. And after 26 years of parenting, I learned “the long way” around this truth, my belief doesn’t equate to my children’s belief, just as my parent’s belief didn’t solidify mine.
We all have to make our faith our own, with the autocorrect of belief.
Faith is a noun. It is a thing, a possession. However, it is one of my most in-depth, personal faith seekings that brings me to this composition. Habit, culture, and practice, don’t equate to peace and rest.
Years ago, I wrote a snarky post asking my readers what they would do without their Bibles. I still have to read the comments through trembling fingers. But it is all these years later that I realize the validity of the question. No soldiers are coming to take our paperback, NIV editions, to burn them in the streets. However, the trending hashtag #deconstruct is tearing the written Word to shreds. And so I ask you, what will you do when the subconscious part of your mind stores that 30-second TIKTOK video, deconstructing faith and ranting about the origins of the Bible, away as an argument against your attempts at remaining faithful?
Yes, you on autocorrect?
Crumpled on the bathroom floor, your list of church to-dos being used to blow your nose? Run-down, worn out, and fed up with all the broken promises?
Broken promises? Well, yeah. That is also what the subconscious does on autocorrect. It always remembers and never forgets that which works… and that which lets you down.
Certainly, I am a friend of Jesus. And I have been on the receiving end of the miraculous. However, I have also had my fair share of “unanswered” prayers. Unbeknownst to me, those “lapses” in coverage, are the ones that my subconscious mind keeps a record of.
This brings us back to the bathroom floor.
It was when I looked at this difference that my journey to freedom and rest truly morphed from unfaithfully broken, to faithfully free. Christian culture is not the road map to peace. A relationship with Christ is the answer. And I don’t intend to tread on your friendship with Jesus. However, I am forced to inquire, if you and He are tight like I claimed to be, why are we not at rest in His promises?
I am so glad you asked. It is because the subconscious never forgets and always remembers.
Our minds operate in two major parts, the conscious mind, and the subconscious mind. With our conscience minds we read, study, and volunteer at the church bizarre. Our subconscious mind grows in these practices, with one goal: KEEP MY HUMAN SAFE, BREATHING, and IN THE KNOW.
It does this through taste, touch, sight, sound, and FEELING.
If you feel good, the subconscious is chill. If you are hot, cold, sad, mad, anxious, or lost, the subconscious goes berserk until you feel good again. In the meantime, it will notify the body to release cortisol and adrenaline, so you can outrun the imaginary bear it believes is chasing you, because why else would you be so riled?
But Jesus? We quickly autocorrect.
“What about Him?” the subconscious banters. “He is where I put my hope.” And your mind retorts… “Well, that is all fine and good for church on Wednesdays and Sundays. But what about that car insurance premium that is overdue? And that email that you read over your husband’s shoulder? He is about to be laid off. The last time he was laid off your electricity got shut off. Where was Jesus then?”
With our conscience minds, we can rehearse all the scripture and say all the prayers, and then… the subconscious will remind you about that TIKTOK video. You banter back and forth, and then the subconscious will do you another solid and remind you how unfaithful you are being.
Que more autocorrect stress hormones.
I’ll give us a second to climb into a fetal position.
And here we are again, the unfaithful, with mustard seed size, culturally approved faith, and habitual worry the size of an avocado seed. There it sits in your window sill, stuck with toothpicks, half mooning tepid tap water. You beg it to grow and turn into something… anything that will nourish and nurture your weary self.
I am writing to your conscience mind now.
Friend, Jesus said we could change our minds. (Rom 12:2) And He also said to take our thoughts captive. (2 Chor 10:5) This is not a works-based command, but it is the instruction we need to go from autocorrection unfaithful to rogue, unreasonable, peaceable, restful, faith, the kind that moves mountains.
Our culture, be it Christian or otherwise was already turned on its head when the pandemic hit. The unknown forced us to reevaluate. Furthermore, with “Faith” under siege, we are prompted to answer the hard questions of the subconscious and provide it with something concrete to attach our faith to. And this cannot be done for you.
Autocorrect in the subconscious is our animal operation.
In order for us to truly BELIEVE the subconscious must be provided with something concrete through taste, touch, sight, sound, and FEELING. Just as you sing lullabies and give your child their favorite blanket before bed, in an effort to offer them comfort, our subconscious minds need to be lulled out of doubt and into the TANGIBLE comforts of the Christ who loves you unto His death.
I aim to start a revolution of rest in the arms of the Christ who came to set captives free and turn want and worry into peace and rest.
My subconscious just suggested a nap instead.
Why does it do this? Because a revolution seems obscure and like a lot of work that might go unnoticed. It fires back, “Why? We could just stay in bed and eat Chezits… that FEELS better than teaching, being told off, or attacked.”
It’s cool sub-c. So, I get a steamy cup of java to feed my mind with touch, smell, and taste. I lull my mind, a lover of Cheezits and Napology, into the comforts of habitual study and quiet with the God of my heart until He is also the God my mind is consumed with.
There is too much to say. I am too far gone in the depths of this rest. Sure, there are moments when actively recognizing and taking thoughts captive are necessary. Still, my mind continues to find TRUTH and comfort in the confines of the company of my Jesus.
Join me… take back your faith, indulge in truth, and rest. Grab a heavy dose of this God whose ways are perfect and never needs a nap.
Let the song of our heart be the CAROL of truth.
And all the truth seekers whimper… Amen.
Grab a copy of my new book Rest, Girl: A Journey from Exhausted and Stressed to Entirely Blessed here!