Monday, April 23, 2012
Suspect the Good
Last night I was reading a book called "Mastering the Skills of Mountain Biking" (imagine that!) when I read this line: "If you're looking to become a great mountain biker to validate your sense of self-worth, good luck. It won't fill that hole in your soul."
As I'd skipped my devotions yesterday, as well as the day before, and know that I was once again bowing down to my personal idol of self-gratification, supplicating to the gods of biking to give me worth or at least a little satisfaction and joy, one simple thought ran through my head - "Yike." To be pinned by a "secular" book like this was more than a little humiliating. It was flat out confusing...
Why do I, having my real answer to real self-worth, real fulfillment and real joy, all really wrapped up in a real individual, a real God, and a REAL reality, really forget so really quickly, really?! I mean come on! Really?
I've heard my condition called "spiritual amnesia" and I guess that fits, but the problem is that I don't so much forget as I willfully set aside my relationship with God to pursue other stuff. I willingly dismiss my only hope. I think I'd call it being "spiritually challenged" or "spiritually stupid." That's definitely what I am.
Now another part of my condition is self-condemnation. My pride likes this: "Break out your whips and get yourself ship-shape. You've got this." But this has never worked for me. Nope.
Nope, nope, nope. The only answer I've found to not validating my own sense of self-worth and patching the hole in my soul with accomplishments, accolades and stuff, is this: "One thing I have asked, one thing I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple." Even as I type this I'm thinking, "Yeah right, I hardly ever 'gaze upon this beauty.' What am I talking about?"
However, setting my doubts aside, I've got to recognize the reality of the Gospel. The Gospel says that I can and do gaze upon this beauty, since I have a completely unveiled face to face relationship with God. It sounds absurd doesn't it? To good to be true. Impossible.
"And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
I believe that when the Gospel is so good that I begin to suspect that my suspicions are too good, perhaps even heretical, I think I'm headed in the right direction.