“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.” (Psalm 127)
“You set a trap for a bull, you get caught in it every time.” – J.B. Mauney
I loved art as a little kid. I could entertain myself with crayons or markers and blank pieces of paper for hours. I’m the same way with listening to music. Or taking photographs. Or enjoying nature. Or hearing people’s stories. Or tasting different foods.
But the more I exposed those loves to the world, the more the sharing necessitated defining my experience. And then in wanting so much to communicate my love, I began to categorize and prioritize what was “best” in order to attract the participation of others in my joy.
Suddenly my experience was being judged. Most significally by myself. As worthy or not. Then there is this anxiety going forward for things to be “good enough”. As if I am unable to adequately contain and communicate my enjoyment to others then it isn’t important. Then it doesn’t exist.
I’m compelled to convince them for validation. And if unsuccessful then murder off that reminder of hurt and shame by starving it. Starving myself.
Why is it not enough that I experience and enjoy it? That I find it meaningful. I can barely remember back to when I was a child and I knew what I wanted. And I did things simply because I wanted to.
Where did I get so lost along the way? Certainly the expectations of others plays a huge role. Societies have the power to make life extremely difficult for those who do not conform to the group. The “free thinker”, so to speak, makes a hundred choices each day to endure the pain outside or the pain within.
The more grandiose believe change is possible. And the very large (and loved?), still think the actions of even one human embracing truth and love can light a wildfire of new growth in the most stubborn establishments. Accepting the real risks involved is key to proceeding forth courageously.
What is the worst that happens? Failure? Pain? Hurting others? How much am I responsible for? That is a tricky question. It’s easier to blame others no matter what side you occupy. Probably very few situations have clear-cut all-or-nothing cause and effects. When you’re referring to interactions between people and relationships. I’m not off the hook most times and yet most likely I’m influenced to a great deal by my environment.
So is the point right answers? Or right living? Or what? Can we have both right answers and right living? More and more I understand Jesus when He said to be as children. How fantastic that He even commands us in a way: “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven“. What a marvelous thought to contemplate; evaporates religion right out of relationship.
I’m sure I am not here by my own doing. How much would change if I disrobed from all ostentatious pretense and reverted to simply being? Why do we think that is not enough?
The pageantry of this world fades in a blink of the eye anyway. Much less satisfies. More a drug to be chased. The dragon. Consume or be consumed. The fear that drives so many when the less-thans and I-am-nots are permitted to reign.
God says, “I AM” and you are in Me. Why do we need more than that? Will I truly live in the grace of only this very moment?
I am a firm believer now that the questions invite deeper intimacy rather than threaten the bedrock. I’m convinced my Creator, the Cosmic Genuis who is also my Good Shepherd and my Father, my Friend, and more importantly I am His – I am convinced that foundation is not the least bit shaken by our doubts.