Friday, February 17, 2006
One who can't stray would be the ideal Christian, right? A person without feelings is one low on passions, low on the tendency to commit sins of passion. Always rational, always under control, always enduring what can't be changed and that includes almost everything. Intellectual. Give me reasons, tell me what to do, and I'll do it. Simple. Good.
Is God like that? No. Scattering all those stars up there takes some serious passion. Creating people who can choose to stab you in the back requires even more.
I've dreamed of nothing beyond survival. Endure. I've learned that I can outwait just about anything. God tries to light my soul with some of his fiery passion and I run away. That doesn't stop him. He continues to rain his love and blessing into my life and that works its own changes in my stony soul. He's not above using my unconsciousness to slip a new lesson in; so long as life goes by undisturbed, I don't examine things very closely.
So, I read Nate's (not Novero) Blog entry about the higher law we're held to. Love. My comment described some of my experience in learning God's kind of love, and ended with "I'd chuck it all, except I couldn't stand living without his voice." This was a case of knowing something without knowing it, and now, suddenly, I knew it.
The idea had been growing. What makes the Christian's life worth living? Lu had been looking into this also, and we'd been leaving comments for each other. The comment I left on Nate's Blog was the logical conclusion, written in my usual offhand-comment way, not real until it was posted there in black and white.
Any Christian who wants to live the kind of life God has in mind is going to have problems. These don't come from any vindictiveness on God's part, nor as punishment, and He doesn't have any delight in our pain. Pain goes with change, and change goes with following Jesus because we are all fallen. I don't have any idea what real life is like. I've been a bottom-feeder all my years. Jesus comes in and starts teaching me.
What is the objective? Early on I rejected the common practice of becoming an interchangeable Christian unit. I'm much to marvellously made for that. God put too much passion into making me Larry and not someone else to have me subsume my God-given Larryness into some person's idea of ideal uniformity. So, am I to become a unique missionary? A preacher? What dream does God have for me? What is his plan for my life?
He wants me to become... a friend of Jesus. Relationship is the desired outcome of all God's effort. He wants to know me. This idea grew on me through a year or so, and it seemed pretty neat, until I began to see just what was required. In order to have a real, living relationship with Jesus, I have to change. I must learn love, and this isn't some academic exercise demonstrated on Sundays but an every-second kind of breath.
One tiny step doesn't get you very far. I'm quite aware that I'm not the fastest mover in the world. No sprinter am I. More like a Mack truck, in low gear. Endure. Climb the hill because it's there and that's the way God has me pointed. Interesting how as I fought against what I saw as my future I became the very thing I detested: a barely-Christian robot, looking forward only to the termination of this fleshy part of the story. And yet, those tiny steps add up. Take a look back and see just how far. "I'd chuck it all, except I couldn't stand living without his voice."
For all that I was mostly unconscious of this, it was still true, as had been uncovered in the dialogue with Lu. Here it was plain. Life really isn't worth living without Jesus' hand on my shoulder. Once I saw that I just freaked. Ran, cursed the day I was born, hid under a rock, told Jesus to just hie himself off into the wilderness and bother someone else, someone who cared. Leave. Me. The. Hell. Alone! Dammit. And I found Hell, all right. Truth, once admitted, becomes a requirement. There is no going back. God holds me responsible: you know it, use it for life or you can't avoid the consequences. It's a natural law: learn something, take the geni out of the bottle and you can't put him back. Folklore is full of this idea. Take the step, and live with it.
Endurance isn't enough. God wants the impossible. I want to go to sleep and wake up only when it's all over. God wants me alive. I predict rough times ahead.