Sunday, July 25, 2010

Complacency Mountain

I've been meaning to type this journal entry up for a while. I used it in my testimony this morning, so I thought I'd finally post it. I wrote it on April 20, 2010, after I wrote this post. I truly am not satisfied with what I see in the world or in myself, but I fight with practical complacency: though I do not want to be, I do not act, and therefore, by all practical definitions, I am complacent.

"I am so tired of being afraid. There is this fear that keeps me from jumping off the cliff. I like my comfort. The safety of my four walls. Outside them it's too dirty, too scary. And it turns into complacency, or at least an excuse to add to it: 'I can't do anything about....'

"I told Paul it's as though my complacency is a mountain. I am in a valley on one side of it and it's beautiful. It's a meadow of wild flowers with food, water, shelter, and of course it is always the perfect temperature - lukewarm.

"This meadow is like the matrix. It's all an illusion, but it keeps me happy and I feel safe and comfortable there.

"On the other side of Complacency Mountain is what appears to be a wasteland as far as the eye can see. But appearances can be deceiving. The problem is it will always appear that way THIS side of complacency and while climbing its slippery slopes. Once there, however, it is the most wondrous place. It is beautiful and safe and everything is provided, but it is still as it is. All that changes is our perception.

"Being in God's will is not always the world's idea of safe and comfortable and fun, but it always is in reality. It appears as a "wasteland" to those lost to the "meadow," but to those who dwell in it, it is the closest thing to paradise we will experience this side of heaven."

34. Let My Love Restore

"His thoughts said, 'I am not what I meant to be, or what others think I am.'

"His Father said, 'It is written, "He restoreth my soul. The Law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul." Let some word of Mine restore thee. Let My love restore thee. Didst thou think thou hadst a Father who did not know tha tHis child would need ot be restored? I will restore health unto thee: I will heal thee of they wounds. I will restore comforts unto thee. I will restore unto thee the joy of My salvation. I will renew a right spirit within thee. I will not cast thee away from My Presence.

"'Child of My love, trust thy Father. If the Spirit speaketh some word in thy heart, obey that word. And, before ever thou art aware, thou wilt know thyself restored.'"

from His Thoughts Said... His Father Said...
by Amy Carmichael

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Real Reality

Before we share life we have to live it.

Why is it when people ask me what's new I can never think of anything? A great many of us spend a great deal of energy on another type of virtual reality (see other post on the virtual reality of communication): the movies we watch and the shows we pour hours into. (I even waste time talking about movies I've never seen and yet hate with a blinding passion.) Suddenly we aren't experiencing life and sharing our experiences with each other, we are sharing the life of a fictional character we spent two hours getting to know, and reliving funny moments and exciting experiences they have had. Adventures we only had to sit on the couch to experience.

I wonder if this isn't one of the enemy's most dastardly ploys. What better way to get us to "experience" life without actually living it and at the same time introducing us to things we so easily attach ourselves to, forgetting what lies ahead: that most real reality? Most of the movies we watch are merely shadows - more so than this life is a shadow of that same real reality - they are ideas that seem so real, life will always seem to pale to them until it is actually embraced and lived. All of our "If only..."s become forgotten as we feel real emotion stirred up by actual living.

I do not judge; I confess. Here is my confessional. What emotions I have felt watching movies about things I want to be passionate about. How excited I have gotten about things I could be doing - maybe, someday. I use the movies and the subsequent emotion as an excuse: "obviously I care, but I'm not like that person!" But even in the midst of all of this I feel there is still hope. We do not have to fall victim to this life lived in front of a T.V. screen. All the excuses in the world cannot deny the whisper that comes that we are designed for something so much greater than this "shadowland."

You can't experience the real life through a movie any more than you can get to know someone through bits of information fed through a "What's on your mind?" prompt on a website. Even as I write this I wonder to myself: "Where do I begin?" And the answer is "With the Truth." The more time I spend in the Word and seeking the Lord in prayer, the clearer I will be able to understand and live this life He has given me "abundantly." Praise the Lord He offers us His help and continual grace and mercy!

Alone in a Sea of Communication

Apparently I often fall into communication funks. I sit on Facebook, or clicking in and out of my Gmail inbox, waiting for some sliver of information, news of life happening. The sad thing is my life is slowly passing me by as I wait. So are the lives of all the people I care about. How much of their lives never see a Facebook status?

It's in times such as these that I start speculating on how Facebook has ruined communication. Whatever happened to letters - you know them, those hand written things we used to have to LIVE in order to fill - and phone calls - the ones that could last hours because we're connecting with someone - and face to face conversations? We need to experience life in order to communicate more than a Facebook status to someone about our lives.

Our reality has become virtual in many ways. Naturally everything I'm discussing here is my own doing, my own fault. I do have conversations with people, and I could call my friends and ask if they have the time to sit with me, maybe over coffee or dinner, or a nice walk. Somewhere along the line I got it into my head, though, that I only need to do that when I have something to share - usually negative - and that no one wants to hear my problems. I complain too much and I HATE complaining. It's so negative. I hate dumping that on others. I just want to hear about everyone else's lives.

Why do I think people don't want to extend the courtesy back to me? Especially since it's a big fat lie; the Carey inside is screaming to be let out, for someone to listen and care about what she's going through, that her heart is 15 times heavier than it should be. Or give her a good talking to: "Carey, you aren't the center of the universe!" "Carey! You aren't always right!" "Carey, you're loved more than you could ever fathom!"

Of course there's another problem: I have no idea how to have a conversation. Okay, explain to me again, how does it go? You talk, then I talk, and we discuss some subject either one or the both of us has an interest in and we learn something? Not only about each other, but maybe (just maybe), the world we live in, the God we serve, and the role we play?


Or I have a burden that I need shared by a fellow disciple and you're willing to hear it and pray for me? Or I get to share yours? Or how about a praise of God's faithfulness and wonder?

Sharing LIFE. But first we have to live it! (This I decided to expound upon in its own post.)

You can't get to know someone through bits of information fed through a "What's on your mind?" prompt on a website. Texting only offers you one iota of the human you are attempting to connect with. Just like masterpiece meals take more than 30 minutes, true relationships take longer than a half hour here or there.

So here I stand, bombarded on every side by information, technology, and immediate gratification, screaming out for someone to take more than a cyberspace minute's interest in my life.

Makes me wonder how many more souls around me are crying out for the same.