Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Reality Frozen in Anticipation: Moments of Truth... Wake me, Oh God

Source via Wikimedia Commons CC 3.0

"I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both. We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name. Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter." -C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, pg. 3 

There are moments in life when the webbing of our delusions lift, and we are able to see the truth unobstructed.  Oh so rarely do we get to see things in the fullness of how they really are.  Our preconceptions cloud situations.  Our minds cloud things.  Society, media, and culture encourage and build upon the misconceptions.  Can we see?  Can we be humble?  

Can I be teachable?  Oh humility, remain with me.  Let not pride take me to terrible places.  Pride is the most deadly enemy.  It wants to tell me sweet lies that shift my mind into dangerous places.  It wants to blind me with sugary lies about who I am and what I can do.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. -Proverbs 11:2.

So as I walk the empty autumn streets at nightfall I'm reminded of the beauty of a life found in the optimism of humility.  And in the presence of God.  But God was there with me on a thousand nightwalks before I called him my savior.  He was leading my mind along beautiful roads.  He was showing me awe inspiring imagery of wind blasted forests, cities stretching across valleys, bubbling rivers, star lit canvasses of trees, street, and black sky.  

There is a simple way to live in awe: Look up at the stars at night, for several minutes and just wonder.  And listen, listen to the wind blowing, the rain falling, and listen for the vacant wonder of star-filled nights.  The moon, the stars, and shooting stars triggering elation.  Oh my, Lord, oh my.  Can you feel it?  Can you feel it pouring over you?  Can you feel it vibrating through your very being?  If not, rest assured, you will.

The wonder of a moment of beauty, in the night, in the day, in nature or in the city, is a moment when the confusions fall away, the delusions fall away, and all is silent, without, within, and I am perceiving a truth beyond naming.  

My mind recoils against it.  An intense feeling of revulsion rises.  Yet I will not write it off, I will not discount it.  How could I?  

Look at that tapestry of the sky, the clouds floating by on any given day.  It's majestic.  It's awe-inspiring.  I've seen it a thousand times, but it always inspires me.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. -Ecclesiastes 3:11 

Autumn trees and autumn leaves dropping to the ground.  The smells of autumn triggering memories in my neocortex.  Memories of lost loves, memories of childhood, memories of broken afternoons, and memories meshed together into unnamed emotions.  

I could die on some of those days when I inhale the scent of leaves crusted to the dew ridden trail amid the cool of the day, but I must keep moving, wouldn't want to have an embarrassing moment in front of others.  Right? 

Frustrating, afterall I'm not a human doing, I'm a human being.  I dream dreams and I see visions.  I work hours, and I sleep.  I fall in love and make friends.  I smile in joy, I cry out in sadness.  All in the span of a few years.  Yet how can I endure?  How can I endure in this broken visage?  How can I endure in this darkly mirror?

As I walk through the supermarket I wonder at the thought that though I dream, I am not truly the dreamer, God is the dreamer, and I am his dream.  I'm the dream of God, as C.S. Lewis wrote.  Do you realize this?  Do your comprehend?  Your a dream!  God dreamed you up.  And as Gump said in Legend, "If life is a dream, best dread the waking."  

I've dreaded the waking.  As is written: The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.  Which I despised early on.  I don't want fear, I want love!  Yet trembling in the presence of God is useful.  Reverence is wise.  Worship is right, and joyous.  I couldn't understand that at first, but now I do.  God gives wisdom, ask him and you will understand.  He loves when we simply ask.

Life I suppose is the day dream of God, but it's a very real dream.  It's objective, universal, and fixed.  Yet it will all be changed.  It will be rebuilt.  All things will change, and will be brought into perfection.  You too my friend, will be perfected.  Are you ready?  Are you excited?  You should be.  Don't be afraid.  It will be grand. 

Think of this: The natural outworking of your faith is that you are part of a species devised by the mind of a timeless being who has no beginning or end.  You are a craft of a God who desired to create beings with a sliver of his own nature within all of them.  But, you, and I, are also a tangent craft.  We have gone our own way, and gone after many schemes.  We are as they say "fallen."

I'm not trying to badmouth humanity, so stay with me here.  

Think of the four seasons... autumn, the death.  Winter the frozen emptiness.  So warm, yet so cold.  Such a tender isolation.  Then spring, the new beginning, the birth.  The time of renewal.  And summer, the period of warmth, sunshine, and joy.  It mirrors of the descent and rise of man.  Paradise lost, paradise regained.  From death to life.  

It's a sort of feedback loop, God has frozen us in our fall.  He has frozen reality around us, in our own fall, to give us one last chance to be set to rightness.  But we cannot set ourselves to rightness.  Rightness takes Jesus Christ.  God holds out his hand all day to long to us, in this deep freeze of reality, offering a simple way to return to perfection (Romans 10:21, Revelation 21:1-5).  Because this existence, this tangent earth, in this tangent universe is destined for destruction, and for those who choose to refuse God's invite to rejoin him will face destruction with this frozen reality.  We have our escape, and God holds out his hand.  Now is the time, today, right now, not later.  Time is running out.  The clock is ticking.  God will not allow this tangent reality to continue indefinitely, he is right and good and holy and true to remake the universe into perfection once again.  And you with it.  If you could only see; unveil their eyes Lord, to see the truth of life, existence, and the universe.   

Reality itself is caught in this cycle, life on Earth is caught in this repeating loop.  It's kind of a staggering, crippled holding pattern for our planet, as existence waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God (Romans 8:19).  Life itself cries out.

What will the perfected reality look like?  How could we know?  We were born into the corrupted model.  It's all we've ever known.  When I sit, even for minutes, hours, over days I am unable to imagine a heaven.  My mind cannot conceive of it.  My mind much more easily conceives of hell than heaven.  Why would that be?  

It's like the Matrix movies, we were born into bondage.  We were born into a prison we couldn't see, taste, or touch.  For us that bondage is sin.  Our minds themselves are enslaved to a selfish notion, that sin is good.  We can do it ourselves sort of attitude.  I always tended to a subtle self destruction, why is that?  

Life and death, alpha and omega, the biggest questions of life.  The secrets held in locked doors, ancient doors that would not be opened.  But with the coming of a man named Jesus, Yeshua, those ancient doors were called to be opened (Psalm 24:7,9).

I so badly want to live out the real implications of my Christian faith.  I don't want it to be corny, superficial crap that I do on weekends, singing to glossy Christian rock at church on Sundays.  I want it to be real.  And it is real.  It's the truth about life.  But we're all so deluded and confused by this modern society.  It's got it's plugs in our arms, our legs, our ears, our eyes, and our mind.  We fight so hard to break free, but it so often has us.  

Truth, show me the truth!  I'm tired of this consumer lifestyle, I'm tired of these office hours.  I'm tired of staring down dark roads at night, sensing an eerie anticipation.

Wake up, oh, wake up.

Wake up my people and wake me, Lord.  Wake me.  Because I can't see.  I need my eyes cleared, because I am so blind.  How many scales must fall?  How many more days of these lies?  Why can I not see?  Show me Lord, cut me free of these bindings.  I want to see the truth.  I want to live from the truth, but I am blinded by this society, which I was raised up in from my earliest days.  From my first days, I've believed lies.  Show me the truth Jesus, show me the unencumbered truth.  

Why so fearful, oh my heart?  Why so empty, my bank account?  Why so expansive, my waist?  Why so filled with nonsense, my mind?  Why do I lack hope?  Why do I fear the enemies of our souls?  Why do I not find courage in his presence?  Why do I fall into sin again and again?  When oh when will this tragedy die?  When will existence be made right? 

My heart aches for it.  My mind cries out in silent, wicked bondage.  I'm set free in Christ.  Yet so wrapped up in worldliness.  My heart aches over the evil in the world.  My heart aches for the millions of children exterminated in abortion.  My heart aches for the lies in the high places.  My heart aches in my own personal situation, so taunt, so completely, its too much, set me free, I want to be free, I want to climb the air like an eagle, I want to run for miles and not grow weary.  

Every eye will see Jesus Christ, on the day of his return.  But I want to see him today.  I want to see the truth of life.  I'm tired, I'm weary of sin, I'm weary of incompleteness, and dogged work of the everyday office life.

And what of the rest?  The most agonizing thing, after being changed, renewed in Christ is to see old friends, addicted to drugs, lost on the road, and they cannot hear you.  For a thousand years I could sit down and share the truth with them, and they cannot hear.  They refuse to see.  It's heartbreaking, because they suffer.  They write words and sing songs expressing the aching of their souls, the confusion, the depth, the cries for meaning, but they are unwilling to come to the son of God for life.  They can't stand the thought of it.  

And oh irony.  Because I was just the same.  I couldn't hear it.  I didn't want to hear it.  I would have rather died than hear of the God of the Bible.  It made me sick to my stomach at the thought.  I hated it, I was angry, and I thought it was all judgment and legend!  Yet one day all of that changed.  My heart's rebellion ended, finally.  Imagine the cheers in heaven at that moment (Luke 10:15).  Maybe that was the rumbling I felt without and within (Ezekiel 3:12-14).  At that moment I was saved, when I cried out to Jesus Christ, the ground shook around me.  A beautiful moment.  I will never forget it.  

Our moments of clarity come time and again in life.  What I've learned is, we must act on them.  We must respond to the clarity we see.  We must not shrug it off.  We must begin to interact with it.  The inclination of the mind is to dismiss it and flee.  We must reject that reaction, and instead interact with the presence.  We must interact with the truth. Dare we tread a road of such far reaching implications?  Dare we tread a road that could change every assumption we have in life?  We must, and there is no turning back.  

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
-Revelation 21:5-8, 22:1-5 NIV 

Source via Wikimedia Commons CC 3.0
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