03 noviembre 2006

so serve Him, only serve Him- He who brings the morning

thought one:

-In his book The Kingdom of God in America, H. Richard Niebuhr said,

"We want a God without wrath who took man without sin into a kingdom without justice through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross."

His words offer much worth thinking about. With our earthly clay do we mold into our minds a God little more than a man-like dictator, concerned more with good duty than with Goodness, with simple equations rather than mind-blowing encounters, and easy homage rather than eternal truth? And wouldn't it be easy to offer this God a place in a sin-stained soul that claims it doesn't really need Him? The question soon becomes: how can we believe in a God any greater than one that can stand in the small compartments we've given Him?-

-from A Slice of Infinity (3 Nov 2006)

thought two:

In practicality, what I have found is that deciding to love people is deciding to give up a bit of possible personal holiness.

Y'all, I am holy like crazy when I don't have to talk to you (usually). I can smile and think kind thoughts toward all of humanity. By myself, I don't say arrogant things. I never laugh at things that are less than righteous. I don't have to worry about saying something unkind or sarcastic.

Of course, I can think just as sinfully solely as with others, but even that is easier to control when I am alone. I find it easier to pray. I can meditate on God more, and have more constant fellowship. The Word is more appealing. Setting my mind on things above and disregarding temporal vanities is easier.

Which I'm sure the Lord finds nice.

But I have a thought... sometimes I encounter people who maybe listen to music I wouldn't endorse, or they watch less than pious films, or say less that virtuous phrases... but they love people. People see GOD in them because their love is like God's. And I wonder... which is better: a solitary state of disinfection and piety or relationships accompanied by a bit of grubbiness?

I know everybody says, "Well it doesn't have to be that way. You should love people AND be holy."

Well, yeah.

But PRACTICALLY, my friends, practically. Obviously, I do not intend an allowance for sin everever. Ones allegience is first and foremost to the God that redeemed him. BUT... assuming one IS desiring holiness and pressing on for it, I would advocate immersion with people. Because it will bring out a lot of unsavory elements of our personality or responses, but CHRIST WILL CONTINUE to work on you... and holiness, of course, is more than asceticism; it's the proactivity of Christ-likeness as well.

I think of a test where you might get all of one objective correct, but leave all the other objective blank versus getting 75% on both.... Maybe the holiness process will seem to take longer, might outright be delayed, but we gotta love, yall... really really. This is our COMMANDMENT.

thought three:
On the subject of sociability, can I just put in an anti-adolescence plug? How healthy would I be if I wasn't trying to undo the bad habits I've picked up since I hit puberty...

I hate but I hate but I hate the preoccupied self-consciousness that our culture incites, as I am quite sure I have ranted on about before. The worst thing is that self-iness is a hard habit to break. But the first step to recovery is identification, right? (or somesuch...)

The past year has been a delightful, albeit occasionally painful, time of getting over myself. I'm still working on it (mejor dicho, so is God), but I am amazed at how much mind over matter/flesh it takes just to demonstrate small acts of humanity.

Do I exaggerate?

I remember, after meditating on this subject for oh-i-dunno-about-six-months before going to Peru, I was resolved to amend my ways. [mend my ways? remend my ways? transcend my ways?]

So, here I am in the house in Huanuco a few weeks after arriving, and I look around my empty room (pre-girls-move-in). I hear voices in the living room. I want to be one of those voices in the living room. But I can't because, well, I'm in my room. I look at my journal. I hear a laugh. I become resolute.

I pick up that journal, I open the door, I march myself to that airy, exquisite living room. I smile and sit on the couch. I pick up my journal and begin to write. Talk swirls around me. I refuse to acknowledge myself or do any sort of third person auto-psycho-analysis.

It's a start. Humanity's a journey, not a destination. (Send any postmodern phases you find to me; I collect them.)