Friday, February 17, 2006
Beyond "I'm Still Here"
I don't know where motivation comes from. I never have had much. Even as a child I was uninterested in the expensive cars, big houses and other characteristics of my upper-middle-class upbringing. It's probably a luxury of having luxury to be able to renounce that luxury, but it's still reflected in my rather elitist approach to things.
What was I looking for? I couldn't put a name to it. I wonder if perhaps, for his own reasons, God was nudging me along even then. I constantly had the idea that there had to be something more than money and gadgets.
I have more than my share of gadgets. Probably more than my share of money, too, and I'm sure my planetary "footprint" is a product of my times and the real luxury of living alone. All of this is the result of the one long-running dream I've had: to be left alone. I don't buy, nor do I interfere with anyone else's trip, and I ask that they leave me to mine. We all make our choices and get to them while avoiding the obstacles.
And all of it did work pretty well. I survived childhood with some basic ideas intact, such as knowledge that playing is important, and that adults can learn a lot from children.
Should I be asking for more? If so, what is it? Lately, I've been purely concentrated on getting through each day without exploding. Avoiding God tends to make me very crabby; when all you have to live for is a relationship with Jesus, hiding just isn't a good thing.
The problem is that Jesus is unlike anyone else I know. My defenses are set up for the normal run of vindictive human beings. Jesus comes up with these absurd notions such as throwing myself on his mercy and all I can do is wait for the drop. And Christians frequently don't help. Everyone goes around saying things like "You can't expect God to be with you all the time," and I just freak out. That's all I have to live for! Mature Christians don't hear from God? On my better days I don't buy that at all. On bad days, when I'm poised to bolt because of what I've learned about relating to Jesus, a few words are all it takes to put thought into action. Run! Get out before you get dropped. I'm sure the people who say things like this, including C.S. Lewis in "The Screwtape Letters," have the best of intentions based on their experience.
But one person's experience isn't another person's. Perhaps I'll get to a point where losing that touch isn't so devastating, but I tell you I was on the edge of spitting nails at most people for the last couple of days.
God used this to teach me a few things about motivation. I think he wants me to become more interested in the process of guidance. When there are many things to do, all of them good, it really doesn't matter which one you choose. I'm the kind to, from laziness or conservatism or fear, take my talents and hide them or at least keep them out of common view. I know the "foxhole rule:" he who pokes his head out of the foxhole is the one who gets shot. Showing talent is a great way to draw fire, and I'm not very robust. Attack me and I flee. Life gets difficult, I quit looking ahead and just trudge along, head down, until the attacks cease.
Somewhere between overweening ambition and apathy is a wide middle ground. Somehow I need to learn that putting my paddle into the river and actually doing some steering might not be such a bad thing. This is a thought in process. I don't know where it will lead.
>>Everyone goes around saying things like "You can't expect God to be with you all the time," << As the apostle Paul would say...
I think I know where you are in this...I think I'm in there, too.
Let us know where this all leads...