Saturday, August 04, 2007


Forced Re-evaluation

It happens periodically. Something trips an alarm, or a flag goes up, and I find myself required to rethink some assumptions I've been using. Maybe for weeks, sometimes for years.

The most recent re-evaluation is of my methods and meanings of relationship with God. The trigger here was the recent prayer incident with Barbara; I wrote then that I'd been pretty much a failure in the spiritual director role, which was a statement in response to another of her comments. She'd suggested I'd be a good spiritual director.

The problem is that those I've advised haven't done any better after the advice. Perhaps the advice is too dippy, or too out-there... or maybe it's just not true.

Maybe I've made this whole thing up from whole cloth. Maybe discipline and forcing myself to behave, and following rules really are the way. After all, far more people live that way than in mine, and if truth is defined statistically I'm way off the beam.

As usual, God has his own take on things and made sure I saw that. The signs are always subtle. Perhaps my direction of others hasn't led to significant change, but at the same time I see others coming closer on their own paths, led their own way.

So, as I walked up the back road to Will Rogers this morning, I thought about the complexity of life change and how long it takes, and how it has to be experienced. You can tell someone how to add; it's a clear-cut process that works for everyone except the politicians who sometimes get nutty ideas about legislating math. I wonder, though, if you can tell anyone how to be a Christian. Oh, I'm sure you can but the result won't be "a man after God's own heart."

Some people, I'm sure, see beyond the rules and rituals to God's heart. It's just too easy to communicate the rules and leave the heart behind so that the next generation knows rules only.

So, I find myself walking, holding Jesus' hand. Destination is unclear except in general terms: I am to become like Him. He has promised to make it so.

The big question is whether I will like the result. I don't know that one either. I dread the rules, the rote performance, the endless browbeating, sackcloth and ashes that seem to be the part of most Christian experience. But then, Paul rejoiced in jail. How'd he do that? Must have been seriously in love with Jesus, is all I can think. Rules don't lead to love except where they save a person's life long enough to get to more solid ground, where love can be learned and used to replace rules.

I don't know folks. Life with God this time started weird--asking God for help sorting out my thoughts--and has just stayed weird. Maybe it's just weird because I'm looking at holy things with old and tired eyes. But you know for sure that things are normally weird if Lu is considering similar ideas. She and I have always had this connection and similar timing.

Eventually maybe I'll trust God enough to quit worrying so much about the path. Survival has always depended upon prediction of where I was going, which is a lot of work. I'd like to rest.

Didn't Jesus say He would give us rest for our souls larry?? Hmmm i wonder how we have messed that up in our fast=paced lifestyle of being busy for God. To know God is needed so we can act for Him. Your posts are always thought-provoking and re-evaluation is a good thing.
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