Friday, April 22, 2005
Living with God is easy, difficult and impossible all at the same time.
It's easy because, really, what other choice is there? Meaning in life doesn't come from gadgets, skills, popularity, roles or daydreaming about what you could do if you had a chance. I never found meaning in any of that, although the people around me seemed to have some success with it. Or at least said they did. So, when God decided to reclaim me, I just told him to do whatever it took to keep me with him. I knew what was a few inches away from my feet.
It's easy because of God's gifts. He gave us this world and he gave us his Son when we messed things up. He holds it all in his hand. The concept is clear and simple enough for me to follow: hold his hand and keep walking. Don't hold the door closed against him.
It's difficult because what God wants is everything I have. Everything changes. I don't know who I am any more. I'm certainly not the person I thought I was. Dying to self turns out to be something different from what I expected: I thought I'd just be polished off and then replaced. No, I have to live through the whole thing, watch my world crumble so that God can rebuild it. There is no other way, and each day I have to face the aftereffects.
It's hard to get up in the morning and know I'm going to be faced with situations I can't handle alone. I'll have to cry to God for help, and in our world crying for help is a quick way to get kicked even harder. God isn't like that and part of what he's doing is dealing with old habits like that. The only way to learn new habits is to do them. Repeatedly.
God scourges those whom he loves. The scourging has a lot more to do with heart than with skin. He has to take apart working systems in me and replace them with something better.
That something better is why the whole thing is impossible. By human nature I just want to run away and hide, but the Holy Spirit gives me courage. The Holy Spirit can't live in a dirty house, which is why Jesus has to wash the place first. Then God can live with me in the ultimate better way: a relationship. Impossible to conceive, impossible to do except that God makes it possible. God himself reaches down to take my hand and lead me.
It's purely a gift. God loves to give things to those who need him; the more need, the more gift. He cares much more about my heart than about my doings, which means I'd be in real trouble except that he has it all planned. He knows what he's doing, and the plan is to make me a better person. A perfect person, really.
What's perfect? I don't know. I'll just keep walking. Thank you very much, Lord.