It has been a while since I dug in my soul for the benefit of myself and maybe others. It’s somewhat vain to think that my ramblings might somehow benefit someone else, but why else would anyone have a blog? So now that we’ve established my vanity, lets dive in.
I am weary.
Do you know that feeling? It’s not tiredness, or sleepiness. It’s not soreness or even exhaustion.
It is weariness.
It is a physical, emotional, spiritual state of being. The whole person is affected. I have been tired a lot in my life. But rarely have I been really truly weary. Like my soul is tired.
There are lots of things that are contributing to this state, and while interesting, are not especially important at this time. What matters to me is what to do with it. Circumstances come and go, and if I reflect too much on those circumstances, the next time I am weary I won’t know what to do because I am staring at the finger pointed at the moon, not the moon itself.
If I have learned anything from following Jesus for most of my life, I have learned that he was a master at not letting circumstances affect his heart. He knew what he was doing. Whatever came in his way, he could remain resolved and focused, because he had a deep sense of truth not affected by circumstances. His anchor was deep. His soul was light. He was buoyant. He could handle disappointment, opposition, betrayal, injustice, exhaustion etc with amazing consistency and grace because He knew what was True, and that shaped his whole outlook on life, and life’s myriad difficulties.
I am not Jesus.
It may surprise you to hear me say that, but I’m pretty sure I’m not. Ask my wife. How do I get to a place where my weariness is just a collection of circumstances upon which I can float like a duck on a kiddie pool?
I struggle with this question, because I feel like I know the answer, but don’t know how to get to the answer’s promises for me. The answer I know is to lean into the promises of God about who I am, who He is, and what He is doing in/through me/the world. To think about what He has done until my heart wakes up and melts, and everything begins to pale in comparison.
If you can’t tell, I have been listening to a lot of Tim Keller. If you don’t know who he is, check out his podcast. There are close to 100 sermons on there, most of which have some application related to what I just said.
The problem for me, and I think many Christians, is that our hearts are stupid. They don’t follow directions well. As much as I have thought about what Christ did for me, I still worry, I still have pride, I still hold on to my favorite sins like a security blanket. Do I really believe what God says about me?
I want to. Help me believe.
It is weird, not being able to trust myself. My whole life I have trusted myself over everyone else, but I’m learning how duplicitous and defiant my heart can be. It doesn’t know how to rest. It is always attaching itself to things, always looking for the next thing to make everything ok. How can I attach it to the promises of God? Isn’t that what Christianity is all about? Haven’t I been following Jesus for most of my life? What’s the deal?
That’s the problem.
It’s not a deal.
It’s a surrender.
There’s no deal in a surrender.
All or nothing.
Life or death.
I am too attached to myself to let it go. My comfort has become an idol. I crave comfort, material happiness, positive feelings. But counterintuitively, when you look for happiness as a goal, you never find it. Happiness can only be found by looking for something else.
God is the ultimate good, what do I need with sub-ultimate goods? How do we surrender?
Now that’s a great question.
I guess it is taking the conditions out of my relationship with God. I don’t seek God to get stuff, but to get God. Why do I pray? Why do I serve? Why do I worship? Why do I do anything?
One thing I know for sure:
The more I know, the more I know I don’t know.
One thought on “Life, the universe, and everything”
Peter, so very profound. I hear you & have been there. For me, the turmoil in the world presently does not help. Everything seems wrong everywhere one turns. I have learned one thing in my years, that these weary times are not forever. Right around the corner, you never know when, there is a turn in the road & things are clearer, brighter & the weariness lifts. I have learned to just keep putting one foot in front of the other until the turn in the road appears, & it always does. I try just basking in knowing my Lord loves me in my weariness as much as He loves me in my joyful times. Sometimes I have wondered if God allows us to be in the valleys to understand, to ponder & grow so when the mountain top experience or just an uplifting experience comes, we appreciate & know He is God for sure & life without Him is empty & nothing but vanity.
Love you Peter Gothold ~~~ & Paola, PJ & Toby too!