Tuesday, July 25, 2006


On Hearing Voices

It's an odd thing, talking with God. In our culture people are supposed to be self-contained, and to hear voices inside one's head is a ticket to the loony bin. That's how it's portrayed. We're alone, and supposed to stay that way.

I just finished reading "In Fury Born," by David Weber. He's the writer of many modern space-opera novels. Lots of action, technical thrills, fleets of huge spacecraft fighting over planets. This one starts that way: the classic Weber do-anything heroine gets herself all the tough assignments and comes out ever better, rising like a skyrocket in the service of the Emperor. Then she gets in trouble, leaves the service, goes to live on a distant colony planet. A few years later raiders come in, kill her family and try to steal everything. She gets back from a hunting trip just in time to catch them. One woman, 25 raiders, guess who wins.

But... she's mortally wounded. As she's about to breathe her last a voice comes to her: "Do you want a chance to go after those who killed your family?"
"It will cost you everything. Do you still want to?"
What follows is the usual story of space battles, but also the story of a three-way battle for a mind. I get the feeling that Weber is sort of poking a toe into new and strange waters. He could have developed this theme more, but what's there is still interesting.

What keeps me from being crazy? It takes time to learn things, and looking back on my life with God I can see that a lot of that time has been spent trying to keep God out of my mind. Only I am competent to figure things out. Anyone else is only interested in takeover. It happens all the time. Brainwashing of one kind or another, from radio advertising to a supervisor's hints.

It's all bullshit. There isn't anyone out there who is interested in my welfare. They try to come across that way, but selfishness rules and once they get a wedge in the door they can bring down the whole house. Lock them out, keep them out, stand firm unless you're overtaken by a tide too strong, and then try to be an inviolate chip in the stream, hoping to wash up someplace, still intact. Preserve the mind. Me against them.

Me against... God?

This is, well, different. For one thing, I invited him. I needed help, he gave it even if I didn't know what I was doing at the time.

Another difference: he doesn't seem to be interested in anything other than my welfare. He could certainly just move in and take over in a complete coup d'etat that would leave me unable to make any choices other than those that he wants. The power is there. I'm pretty flimsy.

One more difference: he leads with truth. He's not interested in forcing me in any particular direction by fiat. He teaches me truth, helps me to recognize it, and helps me fit one truth with another. This is frightening enough. He gets a little upset if I don't follow the path we've marked out, but he's willing to wait, and will leave me alone until I make up my own mind.

It's just such a damned knee-jerk reaction: mental invasion is to be resisted with everything I have, right now! God steps gently on the threshold, and I explode. "Go away! Leave me alone! Get out of my mind!" Sacrosanct... but I invited the invader.

He has been a most well-mannered invader, but still implacable. Truth has an effect. Like light, it produces growth in unexpected ways. Some truth I don't want and am not equipped to handle... on my own. Only with God's continued participation in what I'm doing can any of this work. So, my life has been pretty well paused for the last several months as I waffle back and forth in a narrow zone between freezing and burning. I would die without him.

I'll die with him, turned into something I can't predict. Nor could Alicia, in Weber's story. All the things God has taught me over the last few years, coming home to roost. There's a difference between knowing and doing. Who'd have thought that emotions really are important for living? Try living without them and you'll find out. It takes a long time for reality to grow to fit the prediction, but fighting it is worse. How much can I throw overboard and still be alive? I'm not very alive right now, that's for sure. Denial of self is a powerful tool, and perhaps only God can really teach it.

Larry, I've been reading your posts....I just don't know what to say! That's a first for me! I'm still pondering...
He teaches me truth, helps me to recognize it, and helps me fit one truth with another. This is frightening enough.

Amen.......His truths though so different from MINE......surrender....so dang hard. Thanks Larry the journey is much easier when I come here for some reason.....thanks
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