Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Friend or Desperate
Then I got that little "something isn't right" feeling. God doesn't really get upset but he does let me know pretty clearly when I've said something that hurts him or shows misunderstanding. Desperation used to be good enough. Apparently it isn't any more, so I thought about what might come after that.
The end result was typical: I ran away and hid. God wants more than desperation from me? I don't know what, but there are hints. Friendship? No, thanks. Too unclear. Desperation is easy to understand, roles clearly delineated. I know my place and don't have to make guesses about what comes next.
The problem is that desperation really results in slavery. No choice, no friendship. It's classic cult territory: do what I say, or else you die.
In a way all of my decisions have been simplified to desperation: like the end game in chess, I just wait until almost all the options are thrown away, and then do what I can with this more comprehensible situation. Out of the murk of choices comes one clear path. A slave to simplification. It's not bad all the time. Just that God is a person, and would rather have friends than slaves. A slave who builds his own cage is one step ahead of one in someone else's cage, but the bars are harder to see, harder to change because they're part of the structure of life. How do you teach such a slave freedom? I wouldn't even try, but God never gives up.
Naturally, this all scares me. My response is to forget about friendship altogether. Make things simple, comprehensible, and stay within the well-learned cage. The Holy Spirit isn't too excited about that idea, so there's pressure to come out of the cage and see a bigger world, and God's hand to lead. Lots of nice theories, but putting them into practice is the hard part. How does one be a friend of God? Is that tiger really on my side?