Thursday, April 7, 2011

Terrible Joy

"All hands are feeble, and all knees will turn to water." - Ezekial

I'm always wondering about how much I actually revere God. What would it be like if I met him now, while I'm sitting in Starbucks, typing away and reading the Bible, sipping my coffee all nice and comfy-like.

I know my socks would be blown off. In fact they would probably desinigrate. If God was feeling merciful, I would join my socks in becoming a pile of dust. To live long in God's immediate presence is torture for an unclean human. It's why Isaiah says, "Woe is me, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips!"

"Woe" is sort of a "King Jamesy" word, so it doesn't translate real well to today. I think I might use the expression I often used as a teen: "Oh shit, I'm dead meat!" (Pardon my French).

But even that doesn't quite get it. I know I've said, "Oh shit," a in a few particularly danger-riddled situations, although I've repressed a few of them.

My love of nature and adventure has back-fired quite a bit in my life. Like the time I was going fly-fishing in "Beautiful Brittish Columbia" and was hiking down a very steep slope to get to a spot. Yup, I slipped and found myself sliding and eventually falling over a 10 foot drop onto boulders. "Oh shit!" Or the time I was mountain biking and I accidently squeezed my back brake off of a 5 foot drop, which pitched me headfirst into, you guessed it, another stack of boulders. You can guess my words of delight. Needless to say, my love of boulders has waned.

Perhaps, barely being able to get whichever words we personally prefer out before having our head smashed by rocks is closer to "Woe is me". One of my personal favorites, was what my friend's mom yelled when we were almost in a car accident. She yelled at the top of her lungs, "Oh sweet Jesus save us!" just like a Southern Baptist preacher. To which my friend responded with, "Mom you just scared the pee out of me!" Oh the good times I had in carpool.

Fear of immenent death and destruction, always accompanies humans' experiences of God's presence in Scripture. So how can I take him so casually?

It's really pretty disturbing that my perspective of reality can be so clouded. But at the same time it's a grace.

I pray that I'll begin to find a little of the holy fear that should permeate the life of a believer. I pray that even the knowledge of my atonement and right standing would highten my fear, not lesson it. And here I've moved from the definition of fear as shear terror to fear as terror and joy.

The terrible joy that is the believers is that we serve, or are children of, the Living God. Nothing stands in his way, no human power, no institution and nothing in all creation, even Donald Trump. Nothing, nothing, nothing is bigger and more deserving of our terror than God. It's a good thing he's compassionate.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

Nice! God is a rock, and we say *%@# or Woe!