Monday, May 14, 2007

Fat Man Crawling

Writing that last post was fun. I enjoy focussing on the positive. But as I wrote in the post before it, life is not full of positives and an optimist is sometimes pressed to keep a smile in place.

No need to go into details here and now, but life is still very challenging. Is there a point to such challenges?

I think so.

When life is difficult, faith in an afterlife is comforting.

Before you read any further it is important you keep one thing in mind: I’m a fool. I think a lot, I read a lot, and I put ideas together in odd ways. The chances that I am right is extremely remote. But if you are willing to take what I say with a sack of epsom salt, read on.

Psychologically beneficial or not, I know the afterlife to be real. In fact, I believe in eternity. (Eternity is not the same as the afterlife.) When I die I will shuffle off this mortal coil, this corporeal trap and spread spiritual wings to soar through perpetuity. It will be a realm different than the one I have known, and different than the one that existed before the Lord created our world, our species.

What was Heaven like before we existed? What was it like for the angels before The Fall? What perspective might powers and principalities and dominions and all beings who danced in the eternal radiance of the love of the Triune God have had?

Imagine the scope of their existence!

Our lives are measured in heart beats, the mad scramble of the sun across our skies, the seasonal wobble of gyrating stars. If we are imaginative we can picture longer stretches of time. We can appreciate the dance of galaxies as they rotate four times each billion years. We can deduce the gonging of galactic clusters (B flat, 57 octaves below middle C) as they pulse each 100 thousand years.

How does a being who experiences such a pace of living see the universe? See us?

I would think creating humanity shook things up quite a bit.

Beings which existed before there was physical matter, before there were stars and planets and atoms... beings which contemplated eternity while existing in a realm without the cycles of seasons and epochs... before things swam and crawled and flew, before things consumed and excreted and reproduced... these beings existing in realms of pure beauty and joy would be amazed when suddenly the Lord creates, us.

Mayflies adopted into the eternal family.

Stumbling through The Garden we learned to be selfish, to put ourselves first. These beings must have wondered about this strange new thing, these human beings. Imagine the purity of their lives interrupted by this drama of creatures endowed with an immortal soul within the shell of an animal body, and given mental facilities so they may decide and plan and choose.

I suspect this may have been the reason Lucifer stormed away from those eternal halls. Imagine beings with billions of serene years of experience suddenly faced with the inclusion of creatures that were born!

I can imagine an angelic pride smiting under the offensive concept of rubbing spiritual shoulders with creatures that are nearly animals. I can imagine the indignation of an entity of titanic beauty and grace deeply offended by the proposal that beings which slipped into the universe screaming and squawking be permitted into that august company. I can imagine the argument that we are so inherently corrupt that we could never have a place there.

I can imagine the view that humanity is so tainted that even the Lord God Himself would succumb to sin if He were to inhabit a human body. Why else would Satan think he could tempt our Lord Jesus?

So... why?

Why would God do this? What is the point of all of this, this world where people do selfish things? Hurtful things? A place where people weep and suffer and die... A place of active forces which erupt, and crush, and wash away entire communities.

Could it be that living in such a world, a mortal existence which permits bad choices, allows bad things, lends a dimension to our souls unique to eternity? In short, suffering adds texture to our souls.

What a wonder it must have seemed to all those wondrous beings to see the triune God creep into this realm of sorrow through the body of a young woman and watch Him grow and love and suffer and die! What a wonder it was.

What a wonder it is.

For eternity is not the sort of thing we see it as. We live in a space-time continuum, an experience that forces us to see time as a one dimensional current that drags us all in the direction of entropy.

Eternity existed before the universe, and will continue to do so after our universe is cold cinders drifting into an expanding endless end. Eternity exists outside of time, outside of space.

I am undeserving of living within such a reality. We all are. It is no wonder we are told we cannot see the face of God and live. We are simply not built of such strong stuff. We are not worthy.

When Jesus answered that rich man about how he might earn eternal life, He started by asking him how well he obeyed the commandments.

Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Mark 10:19-20

Don’t we all feel pretty pleased with ourselves when we think about the majority of those commandments? I’ve never murdered, I love God...

But the Lord kept pushing until He got to the place where the rich man’s heart truly rested, his wealth.

I imagine this fellow thought he was pretty special, and that he was doing something extraordinary, offering to follow the Lord, and thereby placing his resources behind Jesus.

Jesus told him to toss it all aside.

That is a tough call, and one Jesus is asking me, asking all of us, to do.

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Mark 10:25

I think that living this mortal life toughens us up spiritually. I am not living comfortably in this vale of sorrow. I keep praising my God, loving what is good, but often the sorrows of life, that swinging pendulum, just makes it all a little wearying.

But this life provides me with the spiritual challenges to make my soul strong, wiry. It is good spiritual exercise for me, because though I do not deserve the forgiveness and blessings my Lord grants me, I am heading into eternity with experiences that angels and powers and dominions have not had. I will have character that only sadness and sorrow can bring.

I may not ever be a mighty spiritual being, but I know I am shedding spiritual pounds, leaning up, honoring my creator, accepting His challenges.

How else could this fat man crawl through the eye of that eternal needle?


Kyle said...

Curious Servant,

I wonder if you've hit on something that we often miss. The Bible seems to talk about suffering being coupled with a righteous life more than anything else. The sufferings strip us of all the "riches" we try so desperately to hold on to. Take joy that God is shaping your life, even though looking at it from a "human" perspective can be so intimidating.

beth said...

It's exciting when this dimension opens up to you, isn't it? I really love the way you wrote that suffering adds 'texture' to our souls.

Texture is a good thing.

Day by day, your soul becomes stronger. That is, beyond any shadow of ANY doubt, a good thing.

squirrel said...

The reason my comments are usually so short is because your posts are awe striking. I wish I had a printer so I could print ones like this one to read over and over throughout the day, there is so much to absorb. Your writing and the way you think is amazing.

Anonymous said...

Hi stranger. I hope I'm shedding some spiritual pounds too. Check out my blog, you've been tagged. I know it's not your usual type of post, but it might be fun!

Judas Hate said...

Thanks Will.

I did.

I discovered that blogger booted whomever took over my old address and filled it with ads. I decided to reclaim it. I may not post for months. Then again, I may find time once again to post often. Either way, it is there.

And I am here.

Great post btw.


ukok said...

I may not ever be a mighty spiritual being, but I know I am shedding spiritual pounds

Very succinctly put :-)

Kathleen Marie said...

I read once that we can commune with God/HolySpirit/Jesus in a way that no angel can ever hope to. I always wonder about that.

Looney Mom said...

It's good to be reminded that this life is just temporary. I can't wait to go home and have a NEW body!

Jada's Gigi said...

beautiful post, brother....have you considered that having the spirit of the living God move into this vessel of clay and with His own breath resurrect our dead spirit within makes us a part of the highest life form there is...He longs for true companionship something greater than His created beings and somewhere outside of time and space He intends to have it. He is busy breathing life into sons and daughters even now who will shed those pounds and get fit for Him

Felisol said...

Dear CS,
I've often got the feeling of being on board in God's roller coaster.
Two wonfuerful things, though. Jesus is my safetybelt, and prayers from friends are making me strong.
Thanks for your concern, prayers and friendly words.

Terry said...

Dear Curoius Servant...I have been here a couple of times but this is one post that I have to print out and read carefully!
Such big words and detail my nind finds hard to comprehend sometimes!!

I can read between the lines that you are feeling a bit better and I am so thankful for this!

Thanks so much for you visit to my blog.
I am always so glad to hear from you...from Terry

jel said...

hey friend ,
stopping by to see how ya doing?

curious servant said...

Things still up and down. Pendulum swings.

I've had a prety good year professionally, but the personal stuff has been rough.

My psoriasis is driving me crazy... Brenda's still having a very hard time. The legal issues with our kids is grinding along at a glacial pace.

I have a moon howlin' tonight with my buddies which will be good.

Isaac is still self-destructive. Very concerned about him.

Jeremiah had Regional Special Olympics on Saturday. He got a gold medal.

It will be nice when summer gets here and I can slow down.

Amrita said...

Wonderful post brother. You write like Francis Schaeffer and Max Lucado.
Thank you for visiting my blog and helping me with the link problem. I tried it and it worked.
God bless you.

Judas Hate said...

Just checkin' on ya Will.

You all remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Hope the sun is shining warmly on you and you have a great weekend.

Keep smiling my friend:-)


Jim said...

Hi CS -- I'm a fool too, and a dummy!
We are back (early) now. I've even posted my status!

Judas Hate said...

Yes, she is a dear:-)

Felisol said...

Dear CS,
you are such a capasity. Thinker, blogger, painter, teacher, friend, father, church member. Your giving a lot to so many. And yet, when you are silent, that's when I pray the most, for you and your family.
God bless you all.

Terry said...

Dear Curoius Servant.

I have read and reread this post and copied it on paper and read it again and I have enjoyed it so mcuh and I haven't even told you so.

Thank you so much for your recent visits to my blog.
I am always glad to see you there.

Your saying that we are just mayflies is so good.
Don't these guys just live a few short days and then they are gone?
So much like us frail beings!
And yet Jesus condesended to come down to this cruel earth and die for us.

I blieve in eternity too Curious Servant.
I know my dad must believe in it too and my heart is so pained for him the last couple of months.
He is so sick and I just wish that he would face the fact that his 80 years is just a drop in the bucket compared to a whole eternity of not being in heaven.
He just called this morning with news that another one of his friend's have died at the age of 83 and he seemed down.
He has an appointment tomorrow with the heart doctor to see what can be done with the blocked arterties in his neck.

My prayers are with you Curious Servant as you go through all the red tape concerning your son and I hope that soon you will be looking back and seeing the Lord's hand in it all.
God bless you and your wife..from Terry