Monday, June 05, 2006
Making Your Way
Motivation is something I thought I'd never need. After all, you just tell yourself what to do and then go do it, right? Some people can. Perhaps most. It's a matter of will, mind over body, crack the whip over your psychologic sled dogs and get them moving. But... who feeds the dogs? What happens when they just don't pay attention any more?
Drifting. What motivates me is mainly staying out of trouble and maintaining some independence. I don't want to end up a ward of the state or living on a streetcorner, dependent upon the kindness of strangers. I don't want to be dependent upon anyone, actually, so I make sure that anything I start can be finished by myself. Larger goals? Forget it. One day after another.
Which really means I'm just a small cog in the machine, for all my talk of independence. I stay within my boundaries. I figure the moves well in advance and like any other good chess piece try to stay hidden in the pack. My moves are mainly a reaction to those around me.
Christians are said to be called to a life of sacrifice, giving the self away. I wonder how that works. I don't want to dissolve into a sea of uniformity. I wonder if the problem is really in the words and the well-worn phrases.
Jesus is Himself. He looks ahead and walks the way He needs to walk so as to fulfill his purpose. He stands out like a blazing torch on the darkest of nights, which is a far cry from the safe middle-of-the-pack position I maintain.
Different resources, different responses. And just who is setting the goal? Self-sacrifice may be the end result, but I don't think that's the goal. The goal is to do good, which is exactly what Jesus did when he was walking here.
I really don't think God is interested in mindless gears and levers. We have individual souls and the ideas to protect them. We have our own ideas. What I don't have is any real desire to push myself onward. I've become machine-like in that regard, just wanting to get through the day with minimal damage so that I can go home and ignore things.
I wonder what Jesus felt as he pursued his life here. What was he thinking as he looked around, as he walked the hills, as he confronted the Pharisees or gently healed the bodies and minds of people who needed His touch. He knew what He was walking toward. I'm afraid to look ahead.
It's amazing how much water can be soaked up by dry sand. You keep spraying water and it just disappears. It seems my soul is a bottomless pile of very dry sand, but God keeps watering it. His love is constant and any small victory brings a smile. He rains love into my life faster than I can throw it overboard or dry it up with the torch of reason. It's not his intent to extinguish reason nor to abrogate will, but to somehow change them.
What motivates me to pursue this change? It's something beyond survival now. Used to be I was just running from the flames of a burning bridge, but now it may be something closer to what Jesus has always had: the will of his Father. Somehow that connection makes a difference. This is completely irrational. Maybe that's the first step. I know God is interested in some intangible way that's stronger than anything else in my life. I feel his interest and go in the direction that seems to strengthen the link. It seems impossible.