Monday, September 11, 2006
Part of the problem I have is that I don't understand why anyone bothers to tell stories. Our society suffers under a glut of words. There are more words out there than one person could handle if given 28 lifetimes. The cup overflows and it's easy for me to imagine my words being the first to go on the floor.
That is, however, my characteristic self-defense. Life is very delicate. It runs on belief. If I believe that I'm worthless then who in hell would want to have anything to do with me? Self-reinforcing prophecy and reaction. My beliefs have a strong effect on where I go and what happens, and this is safer than trying to believe that anyone really does care. It's better to stay down than to get up and then get knocked down. Again.
The real problem is that I'm the one doing the knocking down. I look for attackers. There aren't any. Well, there are, but they have only the power that I give them.
So, what is the answer? The answer is a real left-field, blue sky bolt from the edge of the land of improbabilities. Way back when God gave me a hand and a restart I set out in a certain way. No lies. No Christian church bullshit. I was going to find out the truth, if there were any truth to this stuff. I figured to get hit by lightning or at least kicked into reality after a few months; a short period of playing around at humanity and then God would whip me into line. I imagined God starting his tolerance timer, waiting impatiently for me to get this personal stuff out of the way and buckle down to the task at hand.
Well, actually, God was laughing. Gently, but amused. It turns out that he has a real soft spot for anyone who asks for the truth. The path that I thought so strange turns out to have led straight to his heart. One time I asked God why he bothered. He said it was because he liked watching me do things. Solving problems, making things. My response was to quit making things. Too wild. Another time I told him I wasn't worthy of any of this. He said of course I wasn't. That's what Jesus did. And then he promised he'd deal with my depression. I expected some kind of mechanical answer: relationships, works, something.
Here we are, three years into this experiment, and the answer turns out to be very simple in statement, but uniquely complex, detailed and wondrous in execution. The solution for depression? The solution for the Junkyard Dog that keeps smashing the delicate structure that is my soul? The way to survive another day of a life I never really wanted and still don't understand? God's face.
There is no mechanical, self-supporting answer. God isn't in business to give someone a toolkit and then turn him loose. The answer is God Himself. I got hints of this three years ago and the idea has only grown stronger with more proof added on. Each time, the answer is to look at Jesus.
I don't really know why. Well, I do know why. I just have a hard time believing it. What kind of sucker am I for buying this invisible friend stuff? Why does God give me special attention when the whole world needs Him? Perhaps because, after all those years of working on other ways, I'm one who decided to listen. I think God gave me the gift of listening when he made me, and has encouraged that ever since the day I was born. For some reason I didn't tune him out.
What do you fill your mind with? What kinds of distractions do you use to get through the day? Industrial Christianity can certainly do that. Movies, books, cell phones, Ipods, television, all the rest of modern culture's favored ways of distancing the real world. For the hard-core there are drugs of all kinds. I have to admit that many of those are attractive to me, preferred to the raw need of looking at Jesus.
That's all it is. There is nothing elegant. I follow Jesus because I need him. Day by day. And you know something? I doubt it will ever get better. I've thought that eventually I'd be strong enough to sort of loose the lines that connect us; after all, how patient can he be for a life-long nursing gig? Every day brings the same solution: go deeper. Become ever more dependent.
I know this sounds nuts. Answers built on top of this haven't come to much yet. I still have no motivation, but we're talking about that. How does one who doesn't care learn to care? I don't know yet, but I'll bet the answer has something to do with becoming even closer to Jesus. When all else has failed, I have nothing to lose by going the nutty direction. There is still some use for desperation.
So, Lu, does this answer your question?
I understand not blogging deep personal things going on. I don't blog everything that happens in my life, every lesson God is teaching me right when He's teaching it. Sometimes things are just too personal to write about publicly.
As to why I bother to tell stories, to blog, is because... well, partly because I can. Because I live in a place and time when I can epress my opinions in a "public square". And partly because it's cathartic for me to tell my story in that public square, and lastly because perhaps (and hopefully) my story will impact someone who reads it for the good. I hope that those who read my blog will be challenged to think outside their own boxes, will be encouraged by someone else who's struggling or struggled with something they are struggling with, encouraged to keep putting one foot in front of the other, encouraged to trust God a little more and encouraged to seek out answers for themselves. I hope my posts bring comfort to those who are hurting -- just last week I posted something on my Vox blog and closed with a passage from Isaiah that had impacted me that week. Turns out someone who read my post just happened to really need to hear that passage the morning she read it. God used a passage that impacted me, that I just added as an after thought to encourage and bless someone else.
You never know who may click on that little "next blog" button, happen upon your story and be blessed or challenged or encouraged in their own journey toward God. Your words could mean the world to them.
Just a thought...