Friday, January 04, 2008
Layla replied "I don't know. That's a good question; you should do a post on it. I think some of hate comes from fear and the ultimate fear is kind of what you described above, fear of losing love. And hate also comes from misunderstanding, from differences, like someone may fear something because they have this idea about it, but the idea is wrong, but they have no way of knowing it's wrong because they fear it too much to get close to it and see for themselves.
Smitty added "God does let us walk on our own two feet until we realize that we can't do it on our own. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just being stubborn in continuing to try and do it myself, knowing that God has so much better places to take me."
Layla said "I know God will never grow impatient of teaching you, showing you, holding you…. but what if he wants something for you that is really wonderful and you keep the guard up and never let it happen?"
Something in the human soul refuses to be conquered. It rises against attempts to do so and no amount of beating from the perceived enemy will succeed unless the whole organism fails.
Oh, it might put on the appearance of being conquered but anger seethes under the surface. Force begets more force whether it's on a national or personal level. Christians are taught to look conquered and then they wonder why some years down the road the whole edifice of faith comes apart like a cheap mobile home in a tornado.
Jesus said to build on foundation of rock, rather than sand. Wrapping bands of applied steel around an unruly spirit is the psychological equivalent of sand construction. Trust a sand sculptor to know what happens to sand when storms show up. The soul seeks the gaps and grows like weeds through concrete, leading the desperate Christian to apply ever greater force until some day they just decide to give the whole mess up. Unless they're strong. Leaders tend to be the strong ones, the exemplars of imposed force. Why can't everyone be like them?
Well, gee. Not everyone is like them. Duh.
The storms are real. The problems of life are real and usually show up at inconvenient times. The strong swim like hell and get through, wondering why the followers get hammered.
Jesus said "The meek shall inherit the earth." This is a hint that our worldview has some problems. Another hint comes from the fact that the current system just doesn't work, if you look at humanity and our potential from a broader point of view. What might happen if we quit trying to force ourselves to conform to someone else's idea of what a Christian is?
Larry wrote "Yet God just keeps walking with me, repeating lessons as needed. Slowly I become more confident, but I hope I never have to try to explain any of this to a real Christian."
Layla quite naturally asked "What's your definition of a real Christian?"
In my mind these are the leaders, the strong ones, the ones who go out to change the world. They're the ones who take others aside and speak to them of obedience. I'm certainly not among those august ranks, me, just trying to get through another day without exploding or giving up.
All I know is that stuff won't work for me. I've tried it. I have contained my soul in ever thicker bands of restraint and intellect. If that's the real potential of human life you can keep it. When God brought me back to himself I decided not to repeat other people's mistakes. I had nothing to lose, but still expected to gain nothing. Christianity has 2000 years of history that seems to indicate that one small man is just so much grain to be ground in service of the Kingdom. Yet the Kingdom doesn't seem to be well served right now. A lot of energy seems to go into internecine wrangling. What can be done?
How about... being loved? God is love. Jesus is the Word of God. The Holy Spirit lives within us. The call is to high places. We know that. Why do we climb on our own power? Why does it seem so shameful to ask for the help that has already been given? What might happen to me specifically if I were to allow God to hold me?
What kinds of wonders might God have planned for me, if he could just get it through my resistant soul that he loves me? We were discussing this last night. My usual model for my relationship with God is as master and slave. He suggested that father and son was a better model, so I followed that.
If I had a son what would I wish for him? I'd wish for him to grow up strong and healthy, able to think for himself, creative, sensitive, kind. At that point I realized I was getting out into territory I know nothing of. What is reasonable to ask of a son? How can I dictate to him the qualities I wish I myself had? So, I kept thinking about it until I fell asleep and had really weird dreams about the roof leaking and the house falling in. Somewhere in there was butter lost in the kitchen.
I have no experience with this kind of thing. What is a human being? What can a human being be? I have a very strong conviction that the world around us acts as chains of lead so heavy that it's a wonder any of us manages to move at all. Daily living is so much work that I get tired just thinking about it. What might be possible as a Son of God? He does call me his son. Most of the weight I carry around is self-generated. I learned my lessons well, to stay in my niche, not to stick my head out where it will be noticed.
I do have experience of God's love. I know experience as a guide is denigrated in today's Christianity. I know that experience can lie if taken by itself. With God's guidance alongside, however, it works. How else do children learn than by following, trying, making mistakes and being taught a better way by example?
It's not an easy path. Why bother following it? Certainly not to impress anyone else, nor to get a reputation for running the race.
Something in the soul senses the scent of Jesus, following his light through times bright and dark. It's too good to be true, however, so we get involved in rules. What might happen if I were able to shake off the leaden chains and walk with a spring in my step? It's certainly not what I expected but it seems to be what we're walking toward.
I encourage everyone who reads this to ask God directly. What can life be? Who are You, God?