Sunday, October 23, 2005


When Is Full?

The gauge only reads to a certain point. If you keep pumping gas in after that, it goes on the ground. The clues are there but maybe you're not paying attention. Fuel, food, friends, all overflow but the mindless consumer keeps grabbing more.

The question might seem trivial. After all, we all know when we're full and when we're hungry, right? In some cases... maybe.

I've been resisting God's efforts to have me feel his participation in my life more directly. What would this be if not a bribe to make me acquiesce? But the thought hit me tonight: if I don't feel anything, how do I know that I'm full? Intellect only goes so far. God made us with emotions and he doesn't build things unless they're perfect.

Lots of people go chasing after God, wanting to feel his touch, wanting to KNOW he's in their lives. I think this is a case of being drenched in gasoline, with the pump still putting out a stream, but the operator unaware and wanting to feel full. Society teaches us to turn off feelings, and the church is right there with the same rule. Ignore your feelings. Do what's right. Well, how do you know something is right when half of you is more or less dead?

Feelings are just plain terrifying, and get more so as I age. I'm less resilient than I used to be, more suspicious, less tolerant, more desirous of just being left alone until I die. If you don't learn them young, then God will teach you when you're old. I have an idea that everything we do here is more to prepare us for living with him in eternity than for anything we accomplish here. What we do is important, what we learn from doing is even more important.

Emotions are going to be happening in Heaven. Those who feel walk on knives in our world. I hope there's a reward for this later on, something to make the pain worthwhile. Better yet, maybe there is a reason for it here, too.

Parents, I plead with you to teach your children how to deal with emotions in some way other than sweeping them under the carpet. It's easier then than as an adult.

I see them as a bottomless pit. Don't even bother trying to fill it. But maybe the truth is that the pit is already full and I just don't feel that fullness because I'm afraid it's a lie. It is very hard to contemplate this. I have to trust God. Trust that what I'm hearing from him is correct, that I haven't messed it up in translation, that I'm not twisting his words into something more palatable to me. There's only one way to find out, as usual. Go and see.

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