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Monday, September 5, 2011

Playing with Fire...

Playing with Fire..., originally uploaded by Christopher Rauch.

Of each the work shall become manifest, for the day shall declare it, because in fire it is revealed, and the work of each, what kind it is, the fire shall prove; 1 Corinthians 3;13
Do I really want to drag my feet with this? No, I don't think so... I need to redouble my efforts. I have been blessed to feel like I've been spoke to, and at times months, years, eternities have gone by when the foxhole prayers of self-centeredness have bounced off the ceiling. This daunting challenge is a good thing.
 "I have a plan for you. It's not gonna be entirely what you think, but I have shown you in dreams a shadow, a translucent abstraction of the potential life that awaits you, should you do your part. I will not force you. and I will not make everything easy for you. You tend to get a little childish when you get blessings without effort. My Grace is yours. Take it, run with it. Tighten up. 
     I want you to do a few things... I want you to quit smoking. Some people smoke all their lives, and die of natural causes. This will not be the case with you, and you approach the point where procrastination will sign your death warrant. Obey me in  this, and see what I do. Quit rejecting the directive to make an attempt at a task I put in front of you, out of fear of failure or loneliness. This, I will not reward. I want and expect you to TRY. 
     You  must remember Zombieland rule # 1 (cardio). Do not let my lenience mislead you. Though you are in amazing shape considering your lifestyle, harsh reality awaits around the corner,if you don't get a handle on this. Irreparable damage may have already been done. You have your father's genes, and have been denied his quality of health care all your adult life. My pity will only carry you so far.
     Tell yourself no. Much more often than you have the habit of doing. You take solace in the fact that you have had many bad habits taken from you, and feel like you deserve to relax. It sounds suspiciously like you are taking credit for how far I have brought you. Beware.
     Stay single for a season. This is not something I will require of you forever, but you are busy, and  broken. You carry this liability into every romance, damaging yourself, and my daughters. Become the man I have given you the ability to be, first. You have ignored my gentle persuasion and it has littered your past with broken hearts including your own. Be careful, lest you die alone, only half of the flesh I intend for you to be. Do this and see how I amaze you. Has my fingertip upon your life not left you awestruck many times in the past? Trust me.
     Handle your studies to the best of your abilities. Your self-pity, and worry will leach success from your future. Do your part, and I shall do mine. Talk to me. Every day, spend at least a few brief moments with me. This will improve your concentration, which you desperately need. You should stop running away from your feelings with writing and photography. You abuse these skills when you do so. This little thing you do is not what I gave you these skills for. Prioritize. Learn to manage the things you need for the future I have waiting for you, and see how much space I open in your schedule... remember I invented time. 
     You've cut it pretty close, but we can do this. With your honest surrender, I can pull this off."

I think what He's telling me, in other words, is: 'You've come a long way... don't fuck this up.'

Friday, September 2, 2011

Intimacy with God... The Hierarchy of Desire

Intimacy with God, originally uploaded by Christopher Rauch.

     Can reverence coexist with intimacy? are respect and reverence on the same continuum? I remember fear going hand in hand with respect, As in my early relationship with my father, but this was hardly reverential. A popular (it seems) statement is that "fear" in the bible can be more accurately translated as reverential trust, but it seems to me, that contextually, this can not always be the case... for instance there is a passage where Jesus admonishes his listeners to not fear who can only kill the body, but rather, sensibly enough, to fear or fear more, the one who can destroy the body as well as the soul. Also, there is a passage where he warns in the parable of the servant who is forgiven a great debt...of the wrath that awaits if we do not forgive others. To substitute reverential trust for the mainstream concept of fear, makes both of these passages unworkable, does it not? I have a yardstick in my relational concept of the earthly father/son relationship that provides a basis for me to intuit/remember fear and intimacy side by side, though most definitely...the more fear... the less intimacy. 
     It is difficult to reconcile reverence with intimacy...I associate intimacy with words like comfortable, relaxed, and familiar. I do not associate these with reverence. Can a man choose his feelings? We can act reverential, but this seems religious, and legalistic instead of relational. I seem powerless to choose my feelings. I cannot even choose to feel fear, but simply act wary if I think I should be cautious. My God, the God of the Bible, is so difficult to pin down and to understand. For so many years, to feel like I know someone has been equated with having a feel for their character, a knowledge of what they may say or do in certain situations. I am comfortable with the notion that paradox is inescapeable when considering the Maker of All Things, but still...Reverence is a form of Awe...or is it?
     This is difficult to think through and duty calls (sleep calls, too). Perhaps it is like a father who requires his sons to call him "Sir" (my own father did not do this, though for a brief period I addressed him as "Sir" because one of my friends did this with their dad, and I thought it was cool.) Resolution eludes me... but I feel that it is perhaps arrogant, this angst I feel. To insist fruitlessly that God interact with me according to the template of my experience and expectation.

Good Night.
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