Friday, July 10, 2009

fear n stuff

So I was thinking about that incident with the door slamming ghost at work....

It is very challenging to frighten a person who holds little value to anything you can take from them.

If there is nothing that you hold dear, then you have nothing to lose. There is no anger, because you don't hold your reputation or rights in high value. There is no disappointment either, because you're not hoping for something so hard that you would be put out not to receive it.

Which sounds fabulous, except that you then have no fear. Without any fear at all, it is all too easy to forget to need God. And what for, right? If you don't hold great value to your job, your relationships, your home, your health, your life... if He took them all away, what have you lost? Nothing that you cared about. You didn't need Him when you had them, but since you've lost nothing, you don't need Him now.

"Of course we need God. We need Him for breath!" Indeed. But if you'd just as soon not have a next breath as to have it, that's not saying a whole lot. "Of course we need God. We need Him for love!" True enough. But we've already established that there's nothing that you love or to which you hold great value. And even those things that you do love, you hold them in such a way that you could release them at any moment because things like that always end up disappearing on you. "Of course we need God. We need Him for hope!" Hope for a future beyond this life, certainly. But what is that, other than a hope that this life will end in short order? "No! A hope for this life!" Well, I don't have an answer for that one, but I personally don't know this hope that you speak of.

So now you're thinking, "If she doesn't turn this post around soon, somebody had better cart her off to the psych ward." Okay, okay. I'll do what I can.

I've been spending my days in a place where I carve my heart out myself. Any longings are met with, "Now, stop that. Clear your mind, dwell not on such things, and rest in the peace of God." Which is great, except for the void it builds. Feeding longing with feigned peace leaves one with a chasm that threatens always to cave in on itself. Actually, I'd go so far as to suggest that peace has to be cultivated; you can't decide to be at peace. Peace can't be forced. Not really.

But when you face the decision to tell yourself to pull up your bootstraps and cinch in your emotional belt another three notches so that you can no longer breathe but at least once you pass out you can't feel the hurt either... you could decide instead to remember that, whether you have hope for anything or not, whether you have passion for anything or not, whether you fear anything or not, no matter your circumstances, God is still beautiful. His goodness operates independent of your worldview, thankyouverymuch. And instead of pretending to be at peace with your pain and going for a permanent dip in denial of all the good and bad that makes you who you are, you can think about Him. Not around or under or from behind glass walls, but really looking Him in the face and remembering His personality, His character, the things that shocked you and made you smile when you first learned them.

What was so surprising to me as I was exploring this idea was that it actually really worked. o_O I wasn't left with that old nagging feeling that I'm just finding a way to distract myself... it was more like I'd actually found the right answer. It was satisfying in a way I haven't felt in a long time.

I still don't know what to pray about. I mean, other than the obvious, "I feel like something's wrong. Fix me!" But I'll keep the conversation going....

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