LAMENTABLE is the fact of a well-privileged person’s lament over how sad their lives feel to them. Laughable is the state of a person who’s not satisfied with an incredible amount of material ‘blessing’ — laughable if it wasn’t so lamentable. But the more we have the less we tend to appreciate it. And material blessing is no shortcut to spiritual affluence.
The more I’ve been dissatisfied with my life the more I’ve come to realise how the things of God have been pushed aside by gods that are things. But the more God comes in, squeezing out a whole world of gods, the more satisfied I’ve become with nothing; the type of satisfaction that can come only when we fast and make our days devoid of any stimulation whatsoever. Haven’t we grown to love and rely upon stimulation? — The god of interesting things to do.
We have a basic choice in life; to go to our gods and fall or to go with God and fly.
Here’s five signs that we’re falling with gods or flying with God:
1. The gods must be crazy, and they make us crazy, too. The simple fact here is gods make us crazy in quick time, probably because they themselves are crazy. At no time is it good to be led by the blind (the blind leading the blind). There is an itch we cannot scratch in the addiction that quickly forms in us and makes our lives more and more unmanageable the longer it gets entrenched. A tolerance for a toxic relationship proves the god of tolerating untrustworthy people sends us crazy. When we act in a way that defies our own reason, we stand there incredulous with ourselves. But with God we would never feel like that. Deep in our relationship with God is an imperviousness to personal incredulity — any incredulity with ourselves forces us back into the heart of God. This means that God guides us in a wisdom that protects and provides for our self-perception. With God we tend to learn to run from craziness toward a wisdom that helps.
2. God makes us think of the end. Whether it’s the end of our life or the end of an activity, starting with the end in mind is just plain wisdom. When we’re motivated by and operate within the vision we have for what’s coming, or for what could be coming, we’re appropriately cautioned by the truth. We tend always to respond in the right way when we know we’ll be held to account. God makes us think of the end, and this is good for us. It makes us fly in our faith.
3. The gods compete with one another. Too much is too much for us. Too many ‘good’ things tends to reverse the effect of what should be contentment. Too many ‘good’ things breeds frustration, because we cannot control them all — or even one when there are so many distractions of stimulation and interest. We always like to control those things we ought to have control over. But over God we know we have no control. So surrender makes sense. Surrender brings peace. When we have too many things to hold, things get dropped, or we lose balance and fall over.
4. God helps us to grow. Life means nothing if we’re not challenged to grow. It doesn’t mean we have to endure pain, though it’s a classic irony that God makes good of our suffering when we suffer patiently. Growth is flight through the echelons into the upper stratospheres of human living.
5. The gods make us insanely dependent, and we come to have no independence. The gods take us nowhere good. Indeed, we know it. As we come to depend on things more than having no dependencies we learn, again, having learned again and again (and again), that the only way to be free of dependencies on things is to be dependent on God alone. Only through faith in the Lord are we afforded many cathartic independences.
It’s good to keep life simple. One God is good, but many gods are tortuous. One God makes us content, but happiness never resides in many.
Trust our lives to the things of God, or the gods of things?
© 2015 Steve Wickham.