Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Change is Good. (Say it with me....change is goooood)

I like to think that my experiences bear some resemblance to those of my fellow humans. An author has garnered my respect when I can read his writings and think "Oh, you too?". There are, I feel, some patterns that resonate across humanity, and there is a gift to being able to adequately describe those thoughts, or feelings, or passions in such a way as to have other humans recognize them as their own.

Now, the problem facing me at the moment; do I have that gift? Or, perhaps even more vexing; do my experiences really bear any resemblance to those of my fellow world travellers?

Because if either of those parameters has not been met this day, than this shall be a most uninspiring post. However, seeing as how this post is really just fo' me, it doesn't much matter, does it?

I find myself in a most unusual state of mind as of late. A slight paradigm shift has occurred, a subtle movement in my perception that has left my world a bit off-kilter. To be clear, I don't consider this an evil - I'm actually quite content with the new wagon that my thoughts have hitched themselves to, and find myself looking forward to where my new perspective will take me. Quite exciting, really.

I hear a song on the radio. A simple, beautiful song that is somehow different than any song I have ever heard, and I make a note to look it up. And I do. I find myself in the possession of a new CD (I use that term loosely - I actually find myself in the possession of a few megabytes of digital music), which is, in a word, incredible. From this album comes an exploration into a world of Christian belief that I knew had always existed, because I was ever the devoted fan of C.S. Lewis, but had never really explored. The eye-opening, soul-awakening epiphanies that followed this seemingly tiny set of circumstances is a post for another day (or week, maybe?), and they are not my subject at the moment.

My subject is how this shift in my thinking, this refocusing on the state of my soul has both excited me and plunged me into (dare I say? I dare, I dare!) depression (I said it...). I've tried to put my finger on what it is that has changed. I can best describe what has happened as an inability to fit my life as I've lived it for, oh, 29 years, into this new perception. I feel almost as one does when they awaken from a truly fantastic dream and find themselves for a few moments trying to superimpose the contents of that dream onto the reality they are now faced with. It's disorienting, and requires that the dreamer simultaneously a) let go of some of his beliefs regarding what is true about his dream and b) let go of some of his beliefs regarding what is true about the world he is waking into.

Through music I didn't know existed, and people I didn't know shared this planet with me, powered by an amazing God, I have glimpsed Him in a way I have never been able to before. Therefore, I want to just sit and think. I want to just sit and read voraciously, and just listen to music, and just be still in the "magic hour" of Andrew Peterson's music and peacefully drift ever closer to this God that has allowed me to see a new dimension of His beauty. But ahh, there's the rub. I have to go to work, and wash dishes, and be me, and live my life.

So, I struggle, a bit, with reminding myself that the magic of my God should not be relegated to the moments in which is it easy to be in His peace, but those moments in which it feels downright impossible. I am slowly pulling my old self into this new thinking, and in so doing I am beginning to recognize that I will inevitably drag along with me my same old vices, my same old prejudices, and my same old tendencies to be downright despicable at times. That, perhaps, is what really bothers me. The possible story of my life as I can see it within the context of The Great Story of Christianity looks so, well, yummy, that I want to have it all, now. Frustration sets in when I am reminded that, while I can think all of the wonderful Christian thoughts I want, I'm still as messed up as ever, and can't quite get myself to act the way I should in order to embody some of these great Truths which have found their way into my thinking.

The wonder of my God, however, is that He is ever helping me shed my dragon-skin to make it that much easier to be with Him in all of my moments. His Grace is always at work, quietly whispering to me that I'm missing the point. I am messed up. My life is messed up. This world, folks, is messed up. But Wonder of Wonders, I can say that with conviction, and still love this life, this world, even myself, because God's Grace covers it all. He is in all things, therefore all things are holy, and beautiful, and redeemed.

I feel better. Maybe the act of working through my thoughts by writing them down has made me that much more convinced that there is hope for me yet. Or, maybe, the gentle reminder to myself that even though I just spent time at work typing this while I should have been grading papers is a perfect example of my screwed-up priorities, I am still called Beloved by a most Awesome God. And that is, like, way cool.

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