Nothing new to see here. move along, folks.
I read the old testament, and I’m like, “this is a story, told and written, by people, about people and God”.
Reading the Bible has done anything but create revival in me.
Perhaps I “should” be going to something like BSF? Where you go through the Bible and perky people say exciting words about it?
I think my view / approach to Christianity is that it’s the worst worldview / religion except for all the other ones.
Or, perhaps, it’s the worst one for me except for all the other ones.
In other words, there is a God I know is real, and only via Christian imagery / views / language / worldview can I relate to this God.
Or perhaps, there is a God, and my choice is either to make up my own image of who that is from scratch, or sketch my imagery for God around the scaffolding of a religion of which God can be purported to be the purposeful and unique founder.
Every time I come back to journal it’s more depressed, more grim, more flat and aimless and purposeless.
And so I call / mentally yank at the invisible intangible rope descending down out of a cloud of uncertainty, which I trust is tied to God, who I trust underlies all things, and I say God please do what you would do, what you must do, and also what I want you to do — to … to what? To alleviate the pain of uncertainty? Pobre mi. To make me not be so confused? I weary of pleading for that. I and thousands of others… always pleading… sometimes receiving? Never receiving? I pray saying that I assent, consent, and yearn for your utter and total intervention as well as enlightenment or even indoctrination of my mind and soul.
Oh, for those (arrogant, dysfunctional) exuberant days wherein I walked alongside my (selective, convenient) bastions of certainty, knowing my place in the universe, knowing my role as merely stirring my own little swirls in the already sufficiently radiant and glorious pools of color and majesty with which God has already filled the sky. Tangibly confident both in God’s already-victory in the universe, and in my contributive role.
I actually don’t believe any thing fundamentally different from those notions to this day; it’s just my aspect, my countenance, my pace and breath and gait and feelings and outlook that are changed. I sluggishly raise my hand and mutter “aye”, assenting to the same truth-claim, the same picture of the universe, where God wins and I can choose to be involved, but I thrill not at my involvement, nor even at the victory. Why? Because I don’t feel like I’m awesome. Funny, how arrogance can breed so profusely the experience of humble and adoring worship.
Why? It’s fairly simple; when I feel awesome, powerful, successful, and glorious, but my theology tells me that arrogance is wrong, then I merely continue to be awesome by projecting all my exultation and exuberance onto God. My future looks promising; I’m excited; I feel awesome about myself… but I know better than to attribute that awesomeness to myself, so I affirm in soaring poetry that all this glory and awesomeness is God’s, and I am merely a tiny pawn basking in it.
I mean, it’s probably the right thing to do if you’re saturated with exuberance — put it onto God… But the question is where is the exuberance coming from in the first place. It’s a bit phony, struth, to project vainglory-derived exultation onto God, in the same way that I now project self-deprecatory depression onto God, or perhaps onto “worldview” / “reality” / etc.
Cool. Nifty. I can sit here for 30 minutes and problematize how whether I’m excited or depressed, it starts out with how I feel about myself, and then I project it onto Life, the Universe, God, and Everything.
I can sit and problematize myself.
I suppose then I should prescribe an alternative, yes?
But before I so constructively proceed to do so, I must air the chip on my shoulder about my long wounding over having so many times “figured out the better way”, the “right” alternative, and henceforth been powerless to enact it.
I look at the vanglorious Daniel of 2009 and spit psalms of imprecation against him; how the wicked exult, how they rejoice, while the (righteous?) rest of us lament. Yet my lamenting self is no more righteous than the offender of 2009; we both paint the world and God in exactly the colors we see when we look at ourselves; either in swirling beautiful vibrancy, or in flat gray muddled mess.
God, I’m quite sorry for painting you the way I see me.
Here’s an interesting question; do I do the same to Rebekah? Sometimes yes, sometimes the opposite… too many factors… moving on…
The solution is both clear and rather difficult/impossible. It’s the deeply Zen / Christian (/ etc.?) thing: stop thinking about yourself. Boast in my weakness, delight in God’s fullness. Move past the ego, move into recognizing togetherness with all…
I experienced something like that on a retreat recently; a group of us were supposed to ask helpful questions to a certain person, and in that space I transitioned from resenting my weaknesses and others’ strengths in question-asking to rejoicing in both, in that my weakness left a space for their strength, and vice versa, and we could each move deeper into our own area of strength because none of us were trying to be everybody/everything.
It was real for that hour. It was real for a week after that.
God, I’m going to continue about my day now, and I’m asking that you help me see and appreciate you as you are, rather than as a receptacle for my overflow of low or high self-esteem.