Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Retaking the Land
It takes a lot of space to set up that defensive perimeter, and a lot of energy to maintain and monitor it. The alternatives seemed enough worse to me that I've been willing to adopt the lifestyle necessary to live within the invisible boundaries for, of course, defenses can be breached from the inside as well as outside.
I've continued thinking about the topic of my last post: why are so many people dissatisfied with their contact with God? Why does God seem to be so interested in me? This morning I was following the Holy Spirit along some thought-trails. A good guide leads to discovery without telling people what they are seeing. God is very good at this.
I set up the invisible defenses years ago, arriving at various compromises by experimentation. I'm good at that: try something, compare the results to the desired outcome, change something, try again. I kept my soul but lost much else. Was it a good trade? I can't know "what if;" all I can know is what is. Deal with things as they are. The defenses worked but had a nasty side effect: The attempt to build bridges to the outside world was seen as an attack, and the same automatic defenses that worked outside were turned on me. No choice, no control.
The land was still out there, still the buffer zone. People got caught in there and became confused. What's good for a 10-year-old isn't so good for an adult, but I build good defenses that resist everything that looks like an attack.
I've often perceived God's attention as an attack. This comes from the inside, so it has involved some truly nasty warfare turned upon myself. Attacking God is... futile, in some ways. In other ways it's highly effective because God is easily hurt. He feels the resistance. He knows what I need and knows how to bring it about and I prefer to live in the pain of fighting him. An intelligent man ought to see that if you have two painful choices it's best to take the one that leads somewhere better, but I generally choose stasis.
How does a soul grow? Is that what we're about here? All that land outside the citadel is... mine?
This does explain why God has been direct with me: once some of that territory has been cleaned out it must be protected or else bad things will move in again. So God reminds me when I'm being inattentive, or trying to drive him away.
I wish I had words to describe this relationship. It's not like anything else I've participated in. God's presence in my life should be that of the conqueror and ruler but that's not the way it's working. He invites me to walk forward into myself, land that's mine, and he promises to walk with me, teach me, comfort me.
Teaching has always been a loaded concept to me. It's usually a more or less veiled mind control project. Learn this or else. This is the right way and everything else is wrong. It may be innocent, choices made to fit material within limited time, or it may be deliberately one-sided. Any time someone sets himself up as a teacher I'm wondering what has been left out. Such one-legged learning is unstable, which means it has to be defended so it won't be pushed over. God is supposed to be the ultimate in one-legged ideas but I find this isn't so. He answers my questions. We walk the trail of question and answer until we get someplace, and that place leads to more questions. I have much to learn.
See here the human being. He is made of many cunning parts, fitted precisely, each working together through time to produce continuity. See here the human being fighting himself, putting divisions between the parts so that the machinery runs as if sand were in the gears. The human being learns to accept this as normal life. Now, see here God, cleaning, dissolving the divisions... and see the human being fight back. Putting sand into the gears again because it's familiar. Pain is familiar. God knows it too, but goes on cleaning as he's allowed. And eventually... see here a human being who finally learns to accept God's humble ministry.
How does a soft and sensitive man live in today's world? I don't know. I do know that the answers I've worked out in the past are self-destructive. The last year has been bad but it finally looks as if I won't need to repeat those mistakes. I understand that the frontal assault, either from inside or outside, just doesn't work. The battle for the citadel is won by a humble man who started by giving himself up on a cross and will stop at nothing else, not to win the war, but to win the person, whole. Neither he nor I cares what anyone else thinks. He has promised to save my soul and he will do anything necessary to that end.