I originally posted this as a comment to a comment, but I think it merits a full posting.
My faith teeters on the tip of a pin at the moment. I've made many concessions to how I live my life for faith; I cannot say with certainty that it's done anything but make me feel inadequate. Sure, I had my one in six with my Dad's revolver, but that's still one in six. I'm afraid to say how I feel in public, but not anymore. I question justice in my life. Where is my slice of happiness? What the hell did I do? If I knew, maybe I could fix it, but now I see most of my life as either a horrible, horrible coincidence, or a case study in how to bow and kiss feet.
Prester Bane is with me as I write this. He's the only one who sticks around. He's telling me again how much I have to be grateful for, and to not bite the hand that feeds me.
I want to feel more confident of my relationship with God, but my life seems unjust to me. It makes me wonder how long until the real trouble starts, when I feel the wrath of the powers that be. If this is love and communion, I don't know heartache and solitude.
I'm tired of people telling me to keep faith in the face of my problems. I don't want to hear another person tell me how much talent I have, and how successful I'd be if I just applied myself differently. They don't deal with Prester Bane, and they don't know my struggle.
I'm rather fond of the portion of Genesis that tells the story of Jacob and Esau. It's a story about wordliness, forgiving your enemy, and living in accordance with God. Jacob is "sold" Esau's birthright by refusing to feed his starving, not just hungry, starving brother Esau until Esau willingly parts with his inheiritance. Jacob is God's favorite. God is apalled at Esau selling his birthright. Now, I look at it and think how much happier God would have been with Esau if he'd died before reaching home and a meal, and properly heired the birthright to Jacob anyway. Things will be as they will be. I don't feel like I have much control over my life, and that I have completely given away my pride for medication. I'm a starving, thirsty madman searching for comfort in the desert of my experience. If given a bowl of happiness, I would probably gobble it whole for anything. From this perspective, it looks like God wants me to suffer. I should die in my desert, just like Esau should have. My timeframe is just different: I wait fifty years to die in God's light. Then I wouldn't be a burden, just a fond memory of those who will inheirit the earth. That's why I write poetry, isn't it? I hate my life.