Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Earth, Idealism, and God

I think I might be a bit of an idealist. I don't like that. I mostly like to think of myself as realistic, but from time to time, I sense the idealist shoe fitting pretty snugly about my little foot. This might be one of the reasons that I so often find myself disappointed. I don't realize, most of the time, that my expectations are anything more than modest. That is, until I come smack up against reality. -Pop- goes my shiny bubble, and I'm left wiping soap scum off the computer screen.

The boys in the reading club I teach are in the middle of a book about an alien who comes to earth. He writes back home about his experiences, and one of his observations is this: "Earth is a tough neighbourhood." I liked this statement. He's right. We humans are always trying to build trust, and always letting each other down. We talk about brotherhood and peace, but deep down, we only want those things if we can have them and all the other things we want, too. At our very best, we are broken.

There is only one thing in my life that has been better than I expected, not less; that hasn't left me feeling flat or disappointed: only God. Only He has been more warm, more kind, more lovely, more rich, and more trustworthy than I dreamed he would be. Only He has kept every promise. Only He satisfies, surprises, and delights the idealist in me with her high-flown expectations. What a sweet relief after I have got a look at the disappointing weakness of the human heart, and the failure that dogs the most noble of us.

And this is the message which we have heard from him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (I John 1:5)

Oh, here I can rest my weary heart...

5 comments:

bjk said...

beauty and brokenness...yes....

Anonymous said...

Jenny,

When you say that God is the one thing in your life that is better than you expected...and in your sidebar you talk about how you asked him hard questions and he answered...well, how do you know he answered you? How does he comfort you? I just don't' get it and am so frustrated wondering why some people that want a relationship with God get one (like you and Becky) and some of us just wait and wonder why he seems so silent in our lives....which develops bitterness and doubts. I don't know if I expect to feel different or have a sense of peace, but the long I "do this" the more I want to walk away.

jennypo said...

anonymous,
I'm sorry. I don't know if you and I have come the same way or not, but I remember feeling weary and hopeless. I didn't get handed a relationship with God like some Sunday School prize for learning the most Bible verses.

Please know that this has been a long hard road for me, too. Even now, while the peace that I have is often a feeling, sometimes it's just a knowing that is not very peaceful on top. It offers a different kind of peace (that isn't the kind I think I need when I'm desperate!) in its refusal to move when I do, or when I want it to. When I first became aware of God as a presence, I overvalued that awareness. Now I am coming to realize that my knowledge of who God is, though it restricts me in the most uncomfortable ways, and fits rather too tight for my liking, is much more precious. Feelings, any kind of feelings, come and go. Knowledge is firm, even when we aren't.

God is never silent for more than a measured amount of time. Though it seems long and possibly pointless, pursue Him any way you know how. Wait until you are desperate, and then call on him, and keep waiting for him until you think it's too late. He will come. He cannot resist the one who flings herself on him and takes Him at His word.

kittykat said...

Aaahhhh! The knowledge of God. That is peace. It is a solid foundation in a life that shifts and sways with the craziness of everyday chaos. He is a constant Who never changes and always loves and just is. I can't explain Him or describe Him. He just fills the void and assures me that when everything else dissappears, He is there, waiting for me to fall into the Everlasting Arms. That is peace!

bjk said...

there's always the best stuff in your comments...until I heard you can't give away what you don't have...did I pursue Him relentlessly and in that pursuit comes for me great peace and contentment.