So what I realize is that all of my prayers, laments, reading, understanding, and exploring has been incredibly selfish and self-centered. It’s all been about what I want, how I see my world, how God can help me. There has been pride – I know more, I think more, I am holier more. And I have been angry – because I have been sure that all that has happened is a reflection of how much God has marginalized, disliked, bullied me. I have seen God only “as I understand God”…no more, not really any bigger than I can comprehend, limited, segmented, pidgeonholed into the role of giver.
And that, I am coming to realize, is a bunch of bull.
There’s a verse of the poem by Edward Hays that reads
Enlarge my half-hearted love
with the ageless truth
that if I seek your kingdom first,
seek to be fully possessed by you,
everything I need shall be given me,
and happiness beyond my wildest dreams
shall be mine.
What does it mean to be fully possessed? What does it mean to love God – and more, to act like I love God?
Does it mean…maybe… that I need to GIVE? That I need to think of God not in terms of what I get, or where God fits, or how I understand God’s role in my life… but rather that I think of God in terms of what I can do as one of God’s children, how broader God is than my little mind can imagine, how God understands MY role in GOD’s universe? And that means… that I sing, and worship, and praise…and talk, and think, and read, and ponder, and love, and give, and work, and play… all as a way of thanking God for being able to do all those things, rather than doing them to GET something.
CS Lewis talks about how we see faith as a bargain – and I think that’s right. We do. But there is a moment…and I think I am there… when we realize that there is no question of earning anything. God is just waiting for us.
And of course, I can’t bargain with God… there is nothing that I am that God hasn’t given me.
Now it’s hard…given the battle scars, given the hurt and pain and tragedy. How can it be that God’s given me that too? And yet…if I stay angry, I am never going to truly understand how exceedingly large God – and God’s love – is.
Rambling thoughts…hard to put into place. I know that my words this afternoon are failing to properly express my thoughts. I also know that the lowerarchy isn’t happy… dark images of Mom’s death, feeling a failure at my job, the general heaviness…tells me I am doing something right. I am pissing off dark forces because I’m willing to consider not only how expansive God is, but how I might start to love God.