Saturday, April 07, 2007

As I was saying before I interruped myself ...

So, as I was saying before I interrupted myself and went in a TOTALLY different direction yesterday than the direction I intended to go in ...

I write (blog) because it sorts out my thoughts and helps me to see meaning in my life. I mean, come on. You've noticed that life today is lived at supersonic speeds. You barely finish one task before beginning the next one. And when you get some of that coveted free time you use it by "resting" in front of television or going to the mall. That is not rest. That is diversion. It is a simple switching of activities from one you do not want to do to one you do want to do. Diversion is fine as long as it does not replace rest, reflection or turning inward to give careful scrutiny to your own soul. Sometimes my soul is a very serious place to hang out. Sometimes my soul is laughing and watching the parade of life go by while I sit on the curb of time and decide not to chase after it. That, by the way, is a learned skill. It does not come naturally. Not in our country and not in this season of time.

When I write I look at what is going on around me and I try to sort it out. And it surely does need sorting. Taken bit-by-bit life seldom makes sense. And sometimes it does not make sense even when you kick back for a minute and take in the big picture. It is not my job ... not your job ... to force life into a form that is pleasing and understandable to our/your mind. Life reminds me of taking a flight on a jet at high altitudes. You know you are gobbling up ground at an unbelievable rate of speed but when you look out the window, casting your gaze on the ground below, it seems totally benign. You lose all concept of speed. You find yourself thinking, "If this jet were to go down it wouldn't hurt anything ... we would simply bounce off one of those buildings down there." You may be going 550 mph but all of your senses say you are doing maybe 10 mph. Can you say, "Skewed?" Your vision is tricked by altitude. You do not feel the wind in your face (thank you for that, God) and feel the terror you would if strapped to one of the jets wings. Speed and altitude makes the "what you perceive" far different from the "what is real."

Another word for "altitude" in our parable is "distance." Not distance from the ground below. Distance from our homeland. As a believer in Jesus Christ I recognize my homeland to be anywhere He is. Jesus is my homeland. If I am by His side, listening to His Words, experiencing His pleasure, life suddenly takes on a new form. That new form makes sense. It makes sense in a way that nothing else in life does or can. I come to understand that this life is "the mission." It is "the training ground." It is "the test." Reality? Jesus is reality. Everything else is the boot camp I go through to make me into the man He wants me to be. And I am the last person capable of making decisions about what I should go through to become Christ-like. Being with Jesus makes me "in the world but not of the world." Away from Jesus and my vision of reality is skewed. With Jesus everything comes into pinpoint sharp focus. When I write I slow down, look inward to the presence of Jesus within (the Holy Spirit) and get my vision renewed.

So what does that mean? It means that all of the hits life delivers are for His divine purposes and I not only don't understand them ... I don't have to understand them. Actually I can't understand them. Not perfectly. It also means that the joys life delivers are gifts from the One who loves me so much that He died in my place. But stupid me ... I assume that the hits are punishment for times I've screwed up and the joys are gifts for having done well. This reduces me to the status of Bailey the Killer Beagle and God to the status of me. I do well and I get the coveted milky bone. I pee on the rug and I not only can I kiss the milky bones goodbye but I just might get a boot in the butt.

Do you really think God acts that way? I assure you that He does not.

Here is the truth. We live for God's pleasure. He directs our paths and our days. If you want to wander off of the paths you do so at your own peril. (Yes, he can "restore the day the locust has eaten" so it's not necessarily a total loss. We'll have to wait and see.) But the meat of life ... the joy of realizing the purpose for which you have been created ... is revealed when you slow down (stop!) on His path, place your heart and your thoughts in His Hands, accept whatever He shows you as "truth", and then walk on in pursuit of the truth as it has been revealed in Him. I mean, stop worrying about tomorrow and just live your life. Live it with His purposes and His pleasure in mind. All of that is a very God-like concept. It's even in the bible. Sermon on the mount. Matthew 5, 6 and 7. Read it for yourself.

So maybe I have explained myself and maybe I have not. But for me writing is all a part of the slowing down. The stopping. The reflecting. I do not mean to be rude but I do not write for you. I write for me. It is in writing that I tear the shrink-wrapped packaging off of my "just add water life" and examine the nitty gritty. I feel the individual parts one at a time. I see how they make up me. I laugh at myself. I wonder about my sanity. I get angry at my failures and myself. But I also pray and ask God to tip His Hand through my thoughts and the way they transpose themselves onto this pixilated page. He often does. And in those sacred moments I feel as though I have touched Him with my own fingers. I feel like I have connected with His purposes for me. I think I understand a little better who I am and why I am that way. And I like feeling that.

Orrrrr. I could be wrong. I could be just scratching out words onto a page. Electronic fodder for like-minded fools. But I really do not think so. Because when I walk away from Tess and her keyboard I feel as though I have given birth to a living, breathing entity. It transcends who I am and what I can understand.

And only He can do that.


Anonymous said...

Hey Ron! I hope you have a good Easter tomorrow! I haven't heard from you in forever! I skimmed through your recent blogs, thats kinda scary about the guy who ran through the back yard and... yeah yikes. Drop me a message on myspace sometime if u get a chance!
Miss ya!
-Sarah D.