Saturday, June 10, 2006
The Individual Path
And, by the way, WHO SAYS there "ought" to "be more hope" in your life? I'm learning I've put far more guilt and stress on my own self by taking on the "oughts" and "shoulds" of others. The only "ought" that matters is God's. And I don't see Him shaking His head in disgust at your life right now. I see Him celebrating and delighting in you -- with great HOPE for who you WILL be in the future, as HE works His magic in you.
Lu wrote that the other day in a comment. "Oughts" and "shoulds" are one of the first things I discarded when God gathered me to himself again.
The problem is that the ideas embodied therein are just too daring for one who is much more comfortable living a submarine existence. To really get out on the edge of what God does makes me more visible than I want to be. Stay safe within the pack. The Christian world is full of heavyweight teachers who know better than I how this thing is supposed to work. And yet that's the same damned mistake I made in the late 1970s: letting people distract me from what God Himself was teaching me.
Well, the main reason for this is fear. I don't really care what anyone else says. That's a convenient excuse. What really scares me is the terrifyingly real touch of God's transforming hand. I mean, you touch him, you die. Change. Newness. The cutting edge. Walking the desert in confidence, stepping out of the boat to be with Jesus in the howling sea because he calls and you can't resist.
Now, there are many accepted visions of what it means to "step out of the boat." Usually those visions are of changing the world and transforming souls. It's interesting how God weaves these things into daily life. No big deal.
I play an on-line game called "Until Uru." God can't touch that, right? Wrong. Through a combination of interests I've become known for throwing the best party in the game. Every two weeks we play music and dance, and I am the manager. It's a role I've studiously avoided all of my life. God will come in through any unguarded door and use your actions for good. A lot of people look forward to this party and its zany creativity.
At work I'm gradually being drawn into a similar role because of all the people in my department I'm the only one left with a long memory of how our system works. The others have retired or promoted out. I get to hobnob with the high-level engineers and tell them what we need to do. If you think I like that, you're wrong. I'm much more comfortable being in the background, yet God has maneuvered things so that I'm the man on the point.
So, good-bye to the old underground Larry. To touch God is to die. Jesus said it. The old man has to die, and people look forward to some cataclysm that slays them on the spot, to be rebuilt. God's way is more individual than that. He knows my heart, knows what he put there and how to dig it out of the talus around the remaining nubbin of his design and let it grow back. Rebuilding. What an amazing concept.
It still scares me. Most days I wish God were more like how the church presents him: tame, limited, unable to do anything without great effort on my part. No, he works his will in any way he can, and he's looking far beyond today. He's looking into eternity.
That's another "ought," another catchphrase for Christians. What does it mean? To this individual, it means that everything I learn while living here is the foundation for what I'll learn later, right on into the demise of the physical Universe. Forever. Quite a concept for one who lives day to day, even moment-to-moment.
We are on our paths. I wish we could share them more. We learn this from the day we're born... For every idea there are 140 nay-sayers and critics. Any idea that actually makes it out is so toughened by the process of survival that it can barely move.
We are made to dance. Made to move, flex, bend, gracefully walk with each other. One of the first things God did with me was start to remove my armor. How do I survive? Some days it's very difficult. I'm rubbed so raw that I just want to go home. It's one of those cases where God's grace is sufficient... barely.
Robots can't dance. They're made to spec on a uniform plan. God made individuals. Many times the robot is internal, reinforced by society but carried on for personal reasons. God has a hard time talking me out of that, but he continues to whisper his ways to my unique soul.
Amen. When I learn from Him, when it's just He and I...then I become better with all of "them."
"It still scares me. Most days I wish God were more like how the church presents him: tame, limited, unable to do anything without great effort on my part. No, he works his will in any way he can, and he's looking far beyond today. He's looking into eternity."
You love it and hate it you know...That HE is sooo good and yet unsafe......To live protected and yet constantly in danger....THAT'S what He calls us to. Thanks Larry for modeling oooh I know you'll hate this probably but modeling the constant yearning/struggle to do so.....