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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fear of the Lord


Easter Sunrise on Lake Joy, originally uploaded by Christopher Rauch.

     Long ago, someone told me that fear, when used in the Old Testament, is best translated as 'reverential trust'. After a little critical thinking, with an average IQ, it becomes apparent that this can't always be the case. Of course, if you read in the original languages, you already know this... hopefully. Fear of the Lord can simply be trepidation over a divine ass-kicking, but  it occurs to me that divine revelation of myself can also be a fearful event, even when my faith that God loves me is strong. This is because I may have to deal with something. To discoverer things about myself that are deeply dysfunctional, self- destructive, or shameful generates dismay. On one level I would rather be a couch potato than mentally get off my ass and turn my awareness toward something that robs me of my potential, and degrades my self esteem. My house can deteriorate around me, but lets see whats on the tube...
    The point of this is that I'd forgotten something that I knew, something I was taught long ago. Tonight I remembered it. Exhaustion can facilitate self-honesty, and tonight... tonight I am freaking exhausted. My work schedule has been demanding and it seems as if someone else is driving. The sleep deficit has increased, and with it my reserves of self control in the little decisions of life... go to bed, clean up, do your paperwork, call  people you have relationships with... Contemplate the next stretch of road on your path. My exhaustion can hobble me, slowing motivation and impacting the decision making process. On the other hand, my exhaustion can be a stone upon which to sharpen the tools of self assessment. As the mind grows weary, it begins to conserve energy, and the effort directed toward self deception is arrested. Sometimes, there is a magic place, a relatively thin slice of the fatigue spectrum where we catch glimpses of our inner reality before fear can shield it. Our true agenda is spread out before us, and the still small voice whispers what it sees of our character into the silence. Will I accept this gift of clarity, or will I choose to reject Gods help, remaining where I am or (shudder) returning from whence I came? When I can see the picture of myself, my conscience wrestles with my awareness of grace. I see the flaws and take my identity from them, rather than the Me I wish to become, my true self.
     It takes balls to continue in my brokenness, to  reach out and grasp treasure I feel unworthy to recieve. The absence of testicular fortitude can lead to sabotage, or defaulting into familiar patterns of self- destruction and self- defeat. The alternative is to pray for courage, commitment, and divine care. With these, I can walk by faith.
     I have been angry at God, and disappointed in him. The death of my father, coinciding with the death of my marriage, three years ago last month was a terribly bitter experience. I had been actively pursuing personal growth, and I walked away, turning my back on many values, and relinquishing behaviors tailored to make me a better servant of my father. As time passed my anger dissipated and I began halfhearted attempts to reconnect with my God, though something was missing. Further into the future, my resolve stiffened, and I began an earnest attempt to recapture my perspective, relying on my own resources. I tried to know an to allow myself to be known, to love again... twice. I have been fooled, taking stated intentions for facts, and believed briefly, that I would have a child of my own, a family. It amazed me, the blindness that accompanied hope. When it shattered, I felt no anger at my Lord this time. Finally, I released my dream, and stood humbly before God in imperfect surrender, my anger and disillusionment directed at mere mortals. What is this hope I have now? Where does it spring from? My fear I cast upon him, counting on his support should heartbreak come to pass. I am sorry for my anger and arrogance, and I hope I please my God.
     I have repented.


"But if he says, I have no delight in you: then, here I am; let him do to me what seems good to him." -2nd Samuel 15:26

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