Thursday, February 09, 2006
The Sensual Christian
After God brought me back to himself a couple of years ago, I expected certain things to happen. I figured I'd be instructed to go someplace, be a missionary, something like that. What happened instead was some basic instruction, and a few hints. One of the hints was about emotions.
I come from a family whose religion is complete emotional control. I sort of split the exit on this one; suspecting that I wasn't being told the whole story, I sort of stuck a toe in the emotional pool and discovered that I came up with better answers when I was able to consider the emotional component. The balance was uneasy but it worked so long as I kept a pretty heavy thumb on the feelings. I always worried about what might happen if my thumb slipped, so, when God asked me to give him my emotions I didn't fully understand but it seemed a good idea. "Here. Take 'em."
After a while he started giving them back. I resisted. "If I wanted to feel this stuff I would have done so years ago." I continued to resist, ever more strongly, until I could barely move. This was worse than anything I did before meeting God. Imagine being with a 24-hour slave driver always telling you exactly what to do. As spontaneous as a computer program, which was kind of funny because I'd always resisted being programmed by anyone. Here I was, supposedly freed by God to be myself, and I was more locked up than ever. I guess there are choices to make, and I chose to ignore what God was telling me, more afraid of what might happen than I was of what was already happening.
There are depths to the soul that I've not seen nor felt. Sort of like having wolves and bears in the forest: I'm glad they're there, but I don't really want to see them when I'm hiking. I've lived without them for 50-odd years, so the rest of my life shouldn't be a problem. I'll just go on into the future hoping nothing else falls off.
God has other ideas. So do I, in my better moments. He made life to be good, not necessarily easy. I've gone for easy, having learned long ago that I have very little control over anything. Emotional needs are hard to meet by myself, which is why I've always made the decision to ignore them. God, for some reason, wants me to be different. He wants to open those closed areas of my soul. To resist him is to die by little pieces. To go his way is also to die in little pieces, but he replaces the dead pieces with himself.
Lu's question from a couple of weeks ago still resonates: what makes the suffering worthwhile? The answer seems to be Jesus himself. Intellect and duty aren't the way to a whole relationship. "Love the Lord your God with all your mind, all your heart, all your strength." If you don't have a heart, he has to make it from scratch. Or... resurrect it.
I posted this originally on Long Haul Christian, but it seems that no one reads what I put there. So, this may be step one in pulling out of the Voxtropolis Experiment.