"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds . . ." Wm Shakespeare

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Trap of Good Enough vs The Freedom of Suffering

How does one rationally choose?
I'm standing at a crossroads between being a good enough Christian (which isn't Christianity at all) and maturing into the likeness of Jesus.

Here's the thing, there is the illusion of what will come should I choose maturity; deep satisfaction and joy. I say illusion because I won't really know it till I choose it and it is alluded to in Scripture and the book 66 Love Letters.

But here's another thing I've come to realize, what is in the here and now is the illusion and the reality is on the other side, the side God calls each of us to.

There's this picture in my head of where I'm standing ~ I'm on a hill looking over a vast wasteland full of thorns, boulders, steep hills to climb, you know . . . . the things that cause suffering along the way of life. But though this land is challenging, there is the other side and it is reachable. Once there I know I'll turn around, and looking back at where I am now, I'll see what I've been living in, this world as we know it which seems fun and light and full of good potential, will seem so dark and useless and I'll know I've made the right choice.

We think we're living in reality now and over 'there' is the illusion only to be reached when we die and hopefully get to heaven. But the truth is
this is the illusion and 'there' is truth.

Why would we think otherwise? This is what we see, hear and touch, this is life which we're taught to get through by living as best we know how, doing good to others along the way, keeping the 10 commandments, working hard to earn our living etc., the stuff most sermons are full of. But what we're not taught is how to live life God's way and it's not the above.

Here we have the illusion of happiness, love by others is something to be sought, fulfilling work is is to be found and the pursuit of satisfaction and relief from whatever troubles us is the goal of living in this world; have a good time, feel good, do good and it will all be ok. The truth is, we have the illusion of love here, satisfaction and feeling good is just the surface of what we will experience once we reach the other side.

Right now though, living in this illusion of Good Enough, it's the most difficult choice I've ever had to make, to leave, to enter into suffering to reach a destination of eternal joy and deep happiness, the kind of deep contentment and security that is not changed by circumstances. That cannot be attained here, still . . . though it seems an easy decision, it is not. There needs to be an encounter with Jesus that transforms. Take Peter for instance. This is my take on this . . . . he lived with Jesus, watched Him perform miracle after miracle, heard Jesus teach, but Peter did not have an encounter that transformed him. After Peter denied knowing Jesus and met Jesus along the road,
that was the encounter that transformed him into someone who suffered persecution and asked to be crucified upside down as he was not worthy to be crucified as Jesus was.

I look at the apostle Paul, he was living as he was taught and life was going along just great. He had status in the church, he was likely well off having everything he desired, then had an encounter with Jesus and life was changed. He left Good Enough and entered into a life of suffering. But if you read further we see he not just suffering, now there was deep joy and satisfaction because he was living God's way.

Take a look at Matthew, the tax collector. Once he had his encounter with Jesus, he was transformed and lived life much more abundantly.

I'm also beginning to get a glimpse of what an abundant life is about also. Right now we live a life of fear thus surround ourselves with self-protective measures. We are hemmed in by so much and don't even realize it.

All this to say, I'm realizing this journey of my life is not about the here-and-now, it's about the reality of God, of Eternity with God and the joy that's mine when I choose to live life outside of the illusion of the 'good' life here and in the best life found in God's reality.

It's not easy but it's worth it.
Blessings . . . . Journey Girl



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