Sunday, August 3, 2008


Panic is mistrust... at least for people of faith.

Worry is doubt in your initial choice... the choice to follow. When we worry, we toy with the idea of changing our mind. We window-shop for the best exit strategy. Saving face plays into our thinking. Sometimes we can scarcely remember what we were thinking when we signed on. Usually, it ends with us hanging on for another go-round, giving our "old self" the benefit of present doubt.

Fear is natural. Following it can be. But generally, we afford it too much attention. As far as "healthy balance" is concerned, we generally lack enough when it comes to fear.

In a world of gray, there either is a God or there isn't. From there, everything drops sharply into a chasm of hopeful guesswork. Sometimes, we do our best. Usually, we hold just a little bit back. It's our security; our tiny remaining piece of ultimate trust in the only thing we ever truly possessed... self.

Often, the biggest decisions of our lives are made with too little information. This is the norm. We marry too young. We accept the "free gift" of credit cards. We give Jesus our hearts. We promise to love and obey.

From there we become older and wiser. We quickly realize that our most critical choices were poorly informed. Yet, it is the "wisdom" of our age that tells us to honor foolhardy contracts we made in our youth. We rarely allow ourselves the opportunity to try again, from the beginning, with better information.

I'm not quite sure I understand the point of this awkward order. Had we been made to age backward, starting with wisdom and frailty and then pass into the strength of youth, perhaps we could have made a more beautiful mess of this world. But old men run the world through contracts of their youth, contracts made with themselves in lesser places, with lesser minds, and lesser inhibitions.

We all know what is coming. Who can lie about the obvious? God or not, the world is coming to an end. Better men will fail. It's partly why Christians raise their hands. We want something, some God, some daddy, to pick us up and remove us from this burning soil. It's partly the reason atheists plod through the scientific quest to explore outer space. Only the universe can possibly house this much ego. Down here, we're fresh out of elbow room. Stop the world... I wanna get off.

Had hope stood a chance, atomic corners would have never been turned, sticks would not have given way to swords, swords would not have bowed out to modern weaponry, and that weaponry would never have become smart.

Had hope been the trend, "green" would not require advertising agencies. "Green" would happen as a matter of fact.

And so patience is the most important discipline one could even learn. It is the active ingredient in tolerance. So much of it is required to live alongside the monsters that we become.

I suspect any discipline which is painful to our modernized sensibilities can be deemed virtuous and ultimately worth trading immediate pleasures to have. Still we don't.

You are finally born when you realize that the point of good men is not to save the world or fix all that is broken with it. The point of good men is simply to postpone the inevitable... to slow... to delay the absolute horror that would surely rush in were good men to surrender or delay. Nature abhors a vacuum and evil (or entropy) is all too happy to oblige when good men are otherwise engaged.

We don't do what we do because we might somehow reverse the flow of this mighty river. We are as resigned to the river as anyone. It isn't that we know with any certainty, something that we can validate or measure for the skeptical mind, some great secret. Even our skeptical sides have been left ultimately dissatisfied with our final decision. We have embraced the single, greatest mystery of all.

The mystery: that despite all we are powerless to change, no one can stop us from loving, even the unlovable.

As the river rages and carries us with it... even it is powerless.

All folly and illogical contracts aside, I have hope. I choose love.

My arms are no longer pointed toward heaven, seeking someone to lift me away. They are extended toward you, seeking someone to hold.

May this burning soil consume me as I love.

It is a worthy endeavor we are on. May this be a note to an older self; in your unflinching and stubborn ways, remember this covenant was made in spite of folly.

Results be damned.

We choose love.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Very well said, Bro.