Sunday, June 20, 2010

the beauty of pain

the beauty of pain...

Pain. It is an inescapable reality, and to suggest that their is beauty in it is almost blasphemous. But indeed there is. A man once wrote that we should take joy in our pain because it produces a longing. That it increases our hope in what lies ahead (Rom. 5). The every time our lips burn from the bitter cup of life, be it by the death of a loved one, the ache of sickness, the failure of our circumstances, or of ourselves, those who have hope must remember this hope will not fail us. We long for a distant and yet strangely present reality that will erase all that has gone wrong and restore our broken world.

Almost absurdly, this tells us that those who taste the greatest sorrows of this life from divorce, depression, death, heart ache, and loneliness are considered those who may most eagerly drink from the cup of hope. They are the ones who most clearly see the slits and tears in the fabric of creation and thus are able (if they make good use of these pains) to be filled with a joy in what is too come.

I have suffered very little compared to most, however the suffering and aching I have experienced has pulled back the curtains of how I see life and allowed for a brief moment my eyes to see a deep longing in all of us... and it is that same pain and hurt that allow me to realize the things we hope in so often are only an echo of a song we strangely remember but could never compose or reproduce.

This peculiar longing may grow dull for a season if I drown it out with enough clutter, but never ceases. It almost seems like a longing for a friendship I once knew or someday hope to have, a city I vaguely remember or hope to one day live in. A longing for a fragrance i have never smelled, a woman I have yet to embrace...or have wrongly attribute to one that I have. A desire for some season ahead of me, or one from my past. Oddly clothed inside of my 5 senses I find an insatiable thirst the deepest well of this world will not seem to quench. With all my fury I am unable to extinguish this curious hunger for something inside of me.

I believe I am expressing something that we all at some point in our life...(if we are lucky) understand. It is imageless, unknown, undefined, uncanny, and yet deeply and unexplainably Desired. Many may grow numb to its calling by losing themselves in a drug, or job, a lifestyle, a marriage, a woman or a man...but when the ground shifts and when day turns to night the echo returns and we remember its melody.

Call it nostalgia, being a "romantic", a pain of youth or of death, beauty, or love... this will only send you searching for what you cannot find... The truth of the matter is, it has already found you. He has already found you.

Solomon once said "the purpose of a man's heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding draws it out." Perhaps I don't have the understanding he is talking about. Or maybe, just maybe the purpose that this 'understanding' draws out is this... 'nothing in this world with quench the eternal echoes that call out inside of all men for their eternal God...nothing'.

And each time we finally reach the job, the relationship, the experience that we think will we find this they never live up to all we "hoped for". Only when I cease to try and make the world satisfy these longings can I begin to no longer grow hurt, hardened, or heart broken over its failures to do so. My heart remembers my God's love and His presence and as long as I am away from Him, I long for it again...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How you can be 100% certain you are doing what God wants you to do.

“What does God want me to do with my life?” or “What is God’s will for me?”

Being young, I hear these questions often and have even wondered them myself. I have found a way that YOU and I can discover exactly what God wants to do with our unique life.

Here is a way to find THE ANSWER for YOU…

Open your bible. Read it. God has spoken. He has not left us to wonder, but has given very clear instruction on what he wants you to do. God wants you and me and every Saint to do the same thing. He is not silent; he still speaks forth with every page of scripture. Here are just a few:

*Make Disciples and teach other people to obey God. (Matt. 28)

*Give reason for the Hope you have in Jesus to those who don't have such hope. (1Pt 3:15)

*Live in transparent community (Hebrews 3:13)

*Look after those less fortunate than you...the least of people. (Matt 25)

*Outdo one another showing honor to each other. (Romans 12:10)

*Rejoice always or always be joy filled (Phil. 4:4)

· *And on and on…

-His will for you, for President Bush, Brittney Spears, me and everyone else is this -Be reconciled to Him and help others to the same- or in other words “Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love you neighbor as yourself.”

It is out right stupid to ask for God’s “special will” for your life if you are not listening and currently doing His already “already revealed will” for your life. He has already spoken clearly saying "here is what I want you to do with your life...No matter where you are or where you go or what job your paying bills with DO THESE THINGS”. Why would God give someone more things to do with his life, if they are not right now doing the things he has told them to do?

Once you are doing what he has told you to do… you can do whatever you want. Like Augustine said “Love God and Live as you please”. In the end everything else is tent making…