I must have scrapped 3 or 4 blog posts before finally publishing this one. They were too personal, or too angst-y, or just too self-absorbed to actually be of any benefit to anyone but myself. Maybe this version will make it. So here’s the thing:
Things are falling apart. All around me.
Now, this has happened before. Quite likely, it will happen again. On a day not too far from now, I’ll regain my footing, once again confident in the way forward. Feeling like a master of my destiny. My confidence will be brash, my judgments assured in their righteousness. I will dare to become my own god and chart the way forward.
Then there will again come a moment, as is happening right now, when I will look around and admit the heartbreaking absurdity of it all. Talk about a hamster wheel. But this is good, so good.
Why do I write this now? As friends drop off the map, relationships near and far disintegrate into the homes of cardboard they perhaps always were, plans for the future ebb and flow (or are ripped out from underneath my feet in a riptide of immediacy), and I realize it’s been too long or too far or I’ve neglected this commitment or let that friendship grow cold or let that boundary go lax…
…the sun still rises. It sets.
And as I sip my tea, weak and cold but with the strangely satisfying taste of contentment, I reflect that there was a time that my confidence would turn to desperation in these moments. There was a time I would shut down, block out the world, and crumble inwards.
It is a scary thing to be one’s own god. To be a powerless god. To have to learn what being powerless really feels like.
But I decided some time ago that I make a terrible god. And so it is a wonderful thing…to reject me as god.
So why are things different now? Because there is no desperation. My confidence turns from brash to humble. When all my theology muddles together in a crumpled mess at the foot of my bed and my knowledge proves utterly incapable of saving me from heartache, my God through Christ and His Spirit cuts through all my denials and stubbornness and confusion with the painful and so-needed shock of a Master Healer.
Christ is compelling because in the face of His human perfection, all my pretense is burned away. The Gospel is ultimately not dependent on theology or doctrines or persuasive historical/literary arguments – it is dependent upon my ability to recognize my limitations, and to admit in the face of God Him/Her self that I don’t have what it takes.
As any good 12-stepper knows, or anyone who has had to face up to his or her limitations and acknowledge the damage “playing god” has done…weakness is power.
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9