Thursday, June 19, 2008


I am now thinking about this and I can't shake it so easily,
I read 2 blog posts that got me thinking and after a really long comment on one I decided that I should just write my own post.
So, here goes.
Jeff was talking about the difference in ascending and seeking. We need to seek God and His kingdom, but not try to ascend to it. Only God can make that connection successfully. He has to initiate it, He has to bring it about. We can build all the towers or temples we want but we
will never get to God on our effort.
My personal journey has been one of my effort giving way to grace , repeatedly over the years. Just when I think I've got it down, the rug gets pulled out from under my feat and my tower comes crashing down.
I see things a lot differently than I did a few years ago.
Some things have not changed: I believe that Jesus is The only son of God and our only hope in this life. I believe that he was crucified, died, buried and rose again on the third day.
I pretty much believe all of the stuff I learned as a small child in a Baptist Sunday school (except for that sinners prayer crap).
Now I do believe that we make a decision for Christ, but I think saying some words has little or nothing to do with it and certainly not just repeating what some public speaker is saying.
I think that good theology is important, but not the key. I think we can be very wrong and still make it to heaven and likewise very right and miss Heaven. I also question what has been ingrained in me about Heaven and wonder if God didn't mean something entirely different than what we reduce it to. Sure pearly gates and streets of gold sound good but that could just be the best description that John could come up with ( since he was just a man like me) .
I think that claiming to have all the answers is a sure sign of how far off the mark we are. At least in my life this has been true.
I have pretty much stopped attending "church" services because it doesn't help me do what is important. Because I feel like those same services ,for me are my golden calf.
I used to attend a large church in the area. I would serve as an usher, stay late, come early Put my kids and wife through hell because it was that important to me.
My efforts, how stupid.
I still ended up divorced, I still went to prison, I still ruined my own life and adversely effected the lives of the people that I said were the most important to me, my kids.
My effort is shit.
God has made all of the real changes that have taken place in me. There are a few like, I grew a heart. Like the way I feel when I see a small child now. Like the way I can't take the news any more. I just can't deal with it. I will never forget the look on my mom's face when she asked me if everything was alright because I was crying watching the news. There is too much weight in this life when it is just what you know about around you. the weight of the world can crush you if you let it. I also see the importance of loving those around me, that I didn't choose. My family my neighbors the people I meet at work or the grocery store. Trying to be Jesus all the time is really hard. It's kind of a relief to know that my efforts are pointless. Takes off a whole lot of pressure.
It also allows me to give someone else the benefit of the doubt. Turns out , their efforts don't matter either.


sandwhichisthere said...

the meaning of life is confusing, the purpose of life is a mystery. I read a book by Thomas Merton and his views put a lot of things in perspective. He said" Some night you will stand on the edge of a deep, dark, abyss. If you don't have God there with you, you are doomed.".
I faced that abyss in the daylight and the voice beside me encouraged me to step back.
In the spirit of a gentler time "Keep on keepin on.".

Kansas Bob said...

I liked this Shaun:

"my effort giving way to grace"

It is such a difficult lesson to learn and I am not sure that there is any way to learn it except personally and through experience.

Cap'n Slappy said...

I felt so, I don't know, justified or liberated or SOMETHING, by Dr. Christian Northrup when I watched her tell PBS viewers that our bodies were not designed to run the bad news of the whole world through our minds every day. Especially raising children, we can't be ignorant, but have to be aware of the television stations need to present horrific stories to get us to tune in so they can make money. I think we start with tidying up our own little corner of the world, some action is better than nothing. And you do much, more than you realize.