Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Deep and Beautiful Secret of the Human Soul

source via Wikimedia
Driving down the highway, in the darkness of the night along the great lake Michigan I spotted across the mists of the sea the city in which I reside, lights dotting along the peninsula hanging out upon the waters.  Up in the sky, the stars were numerous, unending and unhindered by the bright lights of the city.  Out here you can see it all.  I passed by the old dam pouring thundering waters down under the bridge.  

What an amazing thing I wondered to myself, to be a human here, speeding across the night in such a technological wonder, blazing through the night in the midst of the fall of man.  What a particularly amazing state of affairs, and how thoroughly haunting to see it all playing out before me.  I could hardly believe it if I didn't experience it everyday and know little else.  The night makes it beautiful in a way, a charming stream of reality, the crusty spots hidden by the shadows, and the purity of the moment magnified by the stillness of the night. 

Again in the morning I awake because God sustains me.  In the quasi-tragedy of our times, dressed up in all manner of madness to make it seem appealing, civilization gathers and crumbles time and again.  It happens in slow motion in front of me day by day, the same city but always new.  The same buildings yet always a different and fantastic sky-scape painted across the backdrop.  

And I look at it wearily, as I jaunt about in the work vehicle, doing this and doing that.  I don't wish for something else really, I just cautiously mourn.  I mourn in the back of my mind everyday you see, with ancient yearnings that lead back to a different time.  Something of the human soul remembers it, like a perfection invisible and if consciously confronted it vanishes.  In fact it never shows itself, aside from a feeling that something is missing.  Or for those more attuned, it is the persistent suggestion that something is quite wrong with reality itself.  Reality itself is broken, not just as a reflection of the internal struggle of the individual, but as an objective reality outside the individual.  Something seems terribly wrong; no wonder so many people face depression, even more so in an advanced civilization!

It's been eluded to in writing by people like C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton.  It's that slight of infinity within the human soul.  And it cries out day and night for something greater that it remembers.  It cries day and night but finds little air.  Yet the human soul tunes to it occasionally, like twisting the dials on an FM radio, the music cuts through occasionally, half remembered, twisted, and vanishes once again.  The human soul itself can sense it's own inclination to elevated realities beyond the confines of Earth.  And so we yearn for it.  When we see beauty on the horizon, it shocks and amazes us.  But many cannot face this reality, or prefer not to.  In exchange for the glory of God, they choose petty pleasures that never truly satisfy; Though they may seem insanely tantalizing in the moment.   I woke up this morning and saw the blue sky and the gorgeous clouds floating against the skyline as I did my duties.  It amazed me once again.  Beauty affects the mind like that.  It draws us in toward the sensation that makes life worth living.

In the struggle of everyday life, in the five day work week I find myself often pulling a drag behind myself.  It's not too heavy, not like the weight of my past sins had been.  Those are gone now.  It's a lighter burden but still remains with me.  It's a sort of nuclear tint on reality, as if my life were shot in the nuclear tones of Battlestar Galactica.  This is especially powerful in autumn and deep winter.  In the far north we have not only winter, but deep winter.  Deep winter comes when winter would normally burn itself out, in January.  Yet it bleeds on from February, March and April and into May.  This is the time when temperatures are often -15 degrees.  One could say the feeling is similar within my own mind on days like today, when I can't help but feel hindered by my own monotonous life.  

We all have those moments don't we, and we wonder: What is it all about?  It's at those moments when we must cling to our calling, the thing that fastens us to what we do.  What we do is not who we are, but what we do is or ought to be what God has designed us to do.  And if we aren't doing that, we'd better start.  

Is what I'm doing of eternal consequence?  Most certainly it is.  Yet even that reality can't comfort the weariness in my soul.  

Why soul are you so weary?  Why soul are you so down?  Have you been listening to the political debate on CNN?  Were you disturbed by Lester Holt and his bias?  Were you considering your own infinite finitude or the number of hours you must wait until eternity comes?  No not so, says my soul. I've really only been living moment to moment, doing my job, praying hard, writing and trying to keep going.  I wasn't really thinking about anything.  I wasn't really worried about anything.  But the truth is, I have a touch of a cold, I'm a little tired, and I really want to go home.  

Home, not being here, then, well, I must wait.  And I wait patiently knowing that my reward will be great.  Though I am wholly unable to inspect it now, I expect it later.  Life will continue I suppose and I must continue.  Life isn't easy.  It hasn't ever been easy.  But I'll continue.  I'll outlast that itch of eternity that refuses let me indulge in the daily life without considering the future and the eternal ramifications of my actions.  And better it be so. 

The dredges are out in full force, having laid their seeds seventy years ago or so.  Now the work is turning up it's terrible crop.  So to step outside the vomit fests of modern society, the flagellation, the hysterical laughter fests, the selfish self obsessed lifestyles, the constant indulgence, the decadent sex orgies, the violence, the child sacrifice, the filthy gorging of every possible pleasure to the max of utter stupefaction, to escape this and attempt by the grace of God to live a pure life; Well, that's a revolutionary act of the highest measure.  

They can't stand it you see, the celebrities, the talking heads, the upper class types; when they see someone trying to live a pure life they have to tear down that person. Like Tim Tebow, Ted Cruz, like anyone in any sort of lime light, that person enrages them.  Why?  Because everyone must, must, must be as despicable as they are.  If not, if even one stands up to say no, it is a naked indictment of their way of living.  And change is hard.  So they try with all their might to destroy anything that is good.  And the Bible said they would.  Fancy that?

Maybe I've figured it out, maybe I've come to realize that it's tough to live in a country decimated by sin.  Well it most certainly is!  We fight the good fight, but we're afraid in the cold depths of our souls, we're afraid that it's too late for a nation or a set of civilizations.  That fact chills the heart, even though this abode is only our temporary stay, we would have it be a place of liberty and justice.  Even if only for a little while.  

Every so often one comes out of the muck of the slime fests in our towns and cities, wondering if there might be something more.  There is, there really really is.  It is Jesus.  He is our King.  He is alive today, having conquered death itself.  Many trade the future kingdom for daily pleasures that never really satisfy.  

There was a documentary of a group of drug addicts in Massachusetts.  The camera man followed their lives as they went out to get their crack and came back to the room to do it.  Time and time again the cycle repeated.  One of those days the camera man watched them go through the process of finding these drugs.  And just as they sat down and began using this crack cocaine he asked them in the most honest terms: "You have your drugs, your all set, getting lit up, are you happy now?"  And one man looked over and replied grimly, "Do I look happy?"  All the men equoed his statement.  

Much the same could be asked of the young man who just plundered yet another bar girl, laying next to her planning his route of escape, one might ask him: "Are you happy now?"  Or what about the billionaire investor and entrepreneur?  He's just gathered another 1.3 billion dollars for his company.  He's ordering the new sports car, he's finishing up a night on the town, going from club to club, feeling so important, and as the evening winds down, one might ask: "Are you happy now?" 

And what about you reader, on your device, your computer, your phone... Does it satisfy you?  Are you happy now?  Or does your heart ache for something greater?  

Come to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.  View the God who made the universe and crafted the human species.  Consider eternity, your life, and the future.  Consider the weight of your past.  And cry out to Jesus Christ to save you, for we are all in need of Him.  It's for you too.  It's for you.  Not only others, you.

The northern lights are said to be beautiful over northern Michigan tonight.  The beauty of the autumn season is setting in.  The schedule is busy, the election is wrapping up, and life does go on.  We consider another year ahead of us.  Though I may be sullen, melancholy on nights like these, fundamentally my life is based on hope today.  In the past my life was based fundamentally on sorrow and self destruction.  Jesus Christ reversed that system.  

Life is tough now, to try with all my might to follow the savior, and see myself often fall short.  But fundamentally the savior has set me free.  He has revealed the deep secret within my soul, the secret of Christ grafted upon my soul to repair the damage and renew me in preparation for eternity.  This is a profound truth.  

That sliver of eternity cries out for that great physician to be grafted to the soul.  Yet even after being reborn in Christ, still that sense of eternity cries out, where my soul aches to be with God in a perfect state of existence, yet my mission insists that I remain, to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the world, into the web, into collision with young people like myself who just don't know, because no one seems to know how to tell them.  I can tell them, uniquely so.  So I will.  And I'll go on lamenting the present, and joyfully expecting the future transposition of myself into the direct presence of God almighty, with you hopefully, for all eternity.  Amen. 

CC 2.0, source
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