Who Is This Person So Full of Grace?

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Did I really write this? I wrote it not so very long ago, yet it seems an eternity. Who is this woman? What were her thoughts, feelings, fears? How could she have written something so beautiful and be so bitter now? Where did the sweet spirit go that I sense here? Was it all a charade? Who is real? Which one is the “glittering image” designed to awe and which one is the true self designed to inspire?

Where did this obvious longing for God go? A. W. Tozer, in The Pursuit of God, wrote:

I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain…

Every age has its own characteristics. Right now we are in an age of religious complexity. The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us. In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart. The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and the servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all.

If we would find God amid all the religious externals we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity. Now as always God discovers Himself to `babes’ and hides Himself in thick darkness from the wise and the prudent. We must simplify our approach to Him. We must strip down to essentials (and they will be found to be blessedly few). We must put away all effort to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood. If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond.

“We must first determine to find Him…” My way has not been simple, but more complicated. I have not come to God at all, but visibly pushed Him at arm’s length. I am pulled between two logical places: my head vs. my heart. My head is evidenced in my latest post. What an insufferable bore I sound in this post. I am all for good principles: alleviating suffering for the vulnerable, but I come at it with a ferocious atheistic determinism. I must believe myself a good person, dammit! However, my heart is evidenced from the post I mention at the beginning of this one.

How can two mutually exclusive modes be coexistent in one person? Am I insane? Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Entertaining two contradictory thoughts at the same time as if they were both true? Someone told me recently that I would benefit from some counseling. I’m beginning to believe they are right, but who can afford it? I suppose I must continue to use my blog as my Freudian couch until the funds roll in. Until then, my head says it’s all bullshit, but my heart says,

We need not fear that in seeking God only we may narrow our lives or restrict the motions of our expanding hearts. The opposite is true. We can well afford to make God our All, to concentrate, to sacrifice the many for the One (Tozer).

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13 thoughts on “Who Is This Person So Full of Grace?

  1. MOI,

    I haven’t met a person (including myself) who has experienced spiritual abuse &/or legalism &/or fundamentalism who hasn’t said a dozen times or more as they struggle coming out of it…Am I insane? Am I crazy? It must be me. There is something wrong with me.

    I did it for years and years and years. I kept going in circles. You know, the pattern you spoke of before. It’s kind of like the abused spouse. You get abused. Then things quiet down, you get an apology, then a honeymoon period, kiss and make up, then a bit of quiet and pow, the storm rolls back in again. Emotionally exhausting and from my own experience, physically exhausting.

    Yes counselling can help but as you say, if you can’t afford it, then write. Whether it be from your head, your heart or your butt. Write girl.

    And have compassion for yourself.

  2. P.S. I should add that spousal abuse isn’t something I have experienced. The spiritual abuse, yes. And that was emotionally and physically exhausting but no where near as hard on me as the leaving, recovery and healing.

  3. Rebecca,
    Write from my butt? πŸ™‚ You’re starting to sound like Jon! What’s all this about my butt????

    I know I’m in some kind of spiritual spiral and I’m not sure where I’ll end up, but I suppose I should just hang on and enjoy the ride, but really, does anybody have any meds???!

  4. Would you like the red pill or the blue pill? πŸ˜€

    Oh oh, did Jon say something about your butt? I didn’t mean anything by it…so I’m surprised someone else mentioned butt. LOL! It’s not “your” butt specifically. πŸ˜‰

  5. Rebecca,
    Yes, abuse is ugly, but fortunately I’ve survived both the bastard who “raised” me and the bastard I married first to find a wonderful, gentle man in my hubby.

    I will take both pills at once, thank you. I wonder what happens if you took both pills? You find reality, but sleep through it? LOL πŸ™‚

  6. Where is this person so full of grace?

    She’s here. She wrote this post. We see hidden behind her words and long for the day when we will will see her as the person so full of grace she really is.

    Jon

  7. Moi,

    I don’t think I realized the abuse in your background. If I did, I forgot about it. (((Hugs to you.)))

    You know Jon, I was thinking about your comment about being “full of grace.”

    I know from personal experience and having read the experiences of others that this word “grace” can be such a touchy issues with those who’s world of faith changes from what they knew for so long.

    It’s almost as though we believe we can’t have “grace” anymore because it belongs to the world of “believers in a god(s).”

    You are correct in pointing out that the grace is still there with Moi. If we just keep kicking her in the butt (sorry couldn’t resist) hehe, she’ll get there.

  8. Rebecca,
    Hugs accepted at all times! πŸ™‚

    Good point about grace being co-opted by the religious set. Not so! Grace is grace regardless of who claims to have it or who claims to dispense it.

  9. Existential angst is very difficult. Even if you decide to become an athiest, you still will not be out of the water on that one. Belief in God or a Higher power emans you have to figure out what that means… do you feel comfortable with an organized religion, which one? Christianity, Buddhaism, Paganism? Then which sect? If it seems too much, look at the alternative. If you don’t believe in God, then you have to believe in mankind. Where will you throw your hope? Governments, Political movements, Anarchy… nihilism, hedonism? And it all still boils down to the same thing: Who are you and why are you here? and no one can decide that for you.

    Astrologers would say that Saturn is probably weighing very heavily on you. He is said to be in the same position in your forties as he was in the first ten years of your life.

    Speaking only formyself and my condition. I think I am just very obsessed with my own existence. I have come to the conclusion that I am narcissitic. I think it has to do with no getting “the code” that other kids in my generatin got that allows them to be pre-occupied with mudane things like money, power and prestige and be satisfied. I want so much to “get it right” no matter what “right” is. It’s all very complicated. Especially when you start asking yourself what happiness means. I haven’t the faintest idea what the answer is for me. Look to the basics of no physical pain? Enough to get by… what is getting by and how much is enough? I have no idea what I want – what I really want.

    I’m not unhappy, but I still feel like an orphan child (metaphorically speaking) sitting under the table eating plain white bread while reading The Boxcar Children.

  10. Robin wrote: “Speaking only formyself and my condition. I think I am just very obsessed with my own existence. I have come to the conclusion that I am narcissitic. I think it has to do with no getting β€œthe code” that other kids in my generatin got that allows them to be pre-occupied with mudane things like money, power and prestige and be satisfied.”

    That’s interesting that you say that, because I’ve always felt the same way. I could care less about money, power, etc. I just want to read, play with my cat, watch tv, and think deep thoughts. I will never be ok with organized religion, although the Episcopal church is beginning to sound just fine. πŸ™‚

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