Sunday, February 28, 2016

Godliness: The greatest Mystery and Riddle

  I was trying to understand how to properly convey how I felt while writing this blog. I had writers block something terrible. I couldn't for the life of me articulate how I felt. My other blog regarding this fascinating book "Til We Have Faces" seemed too un-intriguing, every time I looked to google and reviews in order to provide some semblance of a framework for how I felt it just seemed to bog me down more with idea's that conveyed a meaning far too original and most were a bore.

    I finally came to a new conclusion altogether, I cannot fully describe the events of this book in order to be on the same imaginative wavelength, indeed, one has to read and experience this book personally in order to discuss it in a right light. But in my searching like a blind man in a cave I stumbled into an entirely different topic altogether. The great riddle of Godliness, one whose mind wrestled with this was also Christianities most valiant champion, ardent evangelist, brilliant leader, profound thinker and attractive saints, the apostle Paul himself.

     For to Paul The real story of this world was shrouded in a mysterious vale, of mist and myth. If you believe you are more than your parts, a spirit with a far greater eternal destiny than what lies in this world, then it is a riddle to be solved. A mystery as to where the significance of it all lies. For life is a fickle thing. It seems life brings us more loss than success, more pain than gain and yet, in spite of all that: we fight tooth and nail to hang on 'despite the hardships' to life for just another 5 minutes. Whatever the pain that attends life, we desire to keep experiencing it. Because the other side is shrouded in mystique we've never experienced, we would rather bear the ills we have, than embrace the uncertainty of the unknown. Thus as Shakespeare says "Thus conscience doth make cowards of us all"

    To understand a way out we must understand our present estate. For to understand a Way Out, we have no choice but to understand where we are "NOW." Let me introduce you to the "spiritual ghetto," the dark end of eternity's street. This is simply the world you and I were born into, the "testing ground." Perhaps the place the Programmer sorts out the parts that He wishes to keep most. It was at our conception that we made the CHOICE that our Maker has tried to undo with incredible care, patience and self-sacrifice. You see, it was the first of our kind that invited in the virus that is this present darkness; turning our cradle into this quarantine. The program, once perfect, is now infected. It is a hollow shell, dying a piece at a time, so wretched and repugnant. But unlike the Disney depiction: Beauty did indeed kiss the beast and moved by compassion transformed our mortal animalistic nature into an incomprehensibly divine one. For we wont know real beauty until we have faces that properly mirror his glory. 

     The composition of the trinity was forever altered when Jesus came in disguise, moved by mercy, He removed the insignia of his majesty, to be found without form or majesty, but not so in power, Perhaps this is what Paul is referring to when He says "his body is weak but his words are strong". Worldly fluctuations in appearance and form is not what is real. What is unseen (thoughts, emotions, feelings) is more real in this sense than what is seen, for our faces can mask emotions, we can lie in Gods presence. Transformed faces cannot, indeed because they wish not too, every irrational thought and desire is slowly changed as we become known as we've always been known, naked and exposed before God, perfect beauty instead of concealed shame.

     The most intelligent man in the world Plato himself resolved to say " “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” Is this not the beginning of wisdom?  Even Paul himself agreed to the hidden truth of godliness begin a mystery as to a riddle needing to be solved. Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: The 10 years after Pauls miraculous conversion is more or less a mystery until he pops back on the scene in Jerusalem. In this stage of his life not alot was known other than the fact we can glean his great intellect was working out this divine riddle and eternal mystery. These were probable questions his mind was mulling over: How someone needs to be weak in order to be strong? how could the first will be last and the last the first? How the cross and a crucified savior signified new life? How could worldly wisdom be foolishness and godly wisdom great gain? How could one by being a slave, also be free? This much is known, it wasn't just after his miraculous conversion that he was gifted this new insight, as if an angel appeared holding a scroll "here Paul this is truth, tell the people this" and he began writing. No, he spent 10 years as a sojourner in exile, working a trade with his hands, never before had he had to labor with his hands, his intellect granted him a spot in a higher more astute profession, now he learned a trade as a tent-maker which later in his life when he became a spiritual and theological rock star, enabled him to work overtime after his temple debates. He began working in earnest, laboring late into the night many times in order to provide, and not take money from the church. Paul now sees how these years in seeming isolation and pondering the truths of a dying savior increased his measure of correct understanding. At a prior point in his life while he was working as a temple police agent he more than likely encountered Jesus as he was arrested. There is no need to be fanciful about this however. Or reenact some melodramatic scene of Saul of Tarsus beating and berating the Lord of glory. This much we know however, Paul was in the vicinity, based on contemporary evidence and this also had a impact on his life as he was pondering these truths years before Romans or Corinthians was ever written. 

    With this brief background of Saul of Tarsus or Rather Paul of Judea and Macedonia let us move to a more surreal topic on the conscious weight of thought and words. For according to James: "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks". In Lady Gaga's song: "sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me" Lies! names hurt, words hurt, words carry weight! It should be sticks and stones can break my bones but words have destroyed my soul. I have never in my life been more hurt and affected than by words of those closest and dearest to me. Whither I show the affects or subdue it and work out the pain and suffering my own way in order to maintain an image "bravado"  (as Gaga is alluding to) whither this is the case or not they still impact our nature on a consistent physical and conscious level. This is something that will affect my correspondence with others and from this point forward in my life I would like to make it a goal of mine to lift others up, and not tear them down, in order to fortify a crooked self image. I want my foundation to be rooted on words of truth. 

   When we are self-focused, looking inside ourselves for truth and using what we see as the baseline for reality we see either a saint or a villain. The wisest person on earth or the stupidest; a great person or a lousy one. or we all wear masks today to conceal hidden underlying emotions, thoughts and ideas. Since we never get a clear picture of which of those we are from self-focus, the longer we look inside the more confused and irrational we become. And since our tendency as creatures of habit is to continue to do what we have been doing we become more and more adsorbed and less connected to what is real and true. Soon we become so confused and lost that we give up trying to figure out who we really are and create an 'avatar' to project to the world. We dig deep into what we wish we were really like and then try and pretend to be that kind of person. Some of us have been doing that for a long time already on social networking as we work to create and support an image that demands more and more of our attention, more and more of our energy and more and more of our life. And by posting images and garnering likes we in a sub-conscious way demand others preserve that 'avatar'  or image that if others don't co-operate, then our internally-focused sense of entitlement causes us to spiral down into depression, bitterness and other negative behavior  traits. From there we can become more embittered as we watch other people interact with the 'avatar' (because we are safely hidden behind it) all the while knowing in our hearts that the people that enjoy the 'avatar' don't really like and enjoy us, rather the ideology of the identity you've created. We maintain this pattern as we strive to preserve a situation we have created that brings us the opposite of what we were after when we started acting like someone we were not. The result could be a phonier establishment of in-authenticity, becoming less real, less connected and less of what we truly want and need. 

       Bear with me as I now go off-topic and attempt to use a crude illustration to convey the possibility of asking and seeking for the things of God in faith and the door being opened to you.  For is this not like the fellowship in The Lord Of The Rings, who before the door of the mines of Moria who were stumped by their inability to enter. For the inscription on the door read "Speak, "friend" and enter, after speaking the word friend and attempting all sorts of spells and enchantments, they seemed utter stumped and dejected. Then one of the hobbits got the wise idea that the word must be spoken in elvish, the elvish word for friend, no sooner were these words translated and spoke than the door opened. Is this not the case for us as well? Life is indeed a riddle and mystery for us to solve, difficult to understand by weak efforts of our own volition, earthly reason and intellect. A spiritual insight in necessary here. A different language of sorts in order to spiritually discern. A un-learning rather than a learning, in regards to things of our selfish nature. I used this crude comparison because to me a different language is essentially all I need to understand my spiritual walk moving forward. 

   Lastly in closing it is interesting to me that our formal earthly identity will be remembered no more. I will not be known as the name my parents gave me "Kyle Crockford" I will have a new name that Jesus already knows before time, that very name connotes a sinful nature, our nature will be so transformed by His though, so there will be no need to even be remembered by a name attached to an earthly identity. For those girls/guys who detest their earthly names, rest assured and hope in Jesus because a new heavenly one is coming. Our new heavenly name though will not be attached to that in heaven it says Jesus has written our name "in his hands "See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Your walls are always before me" Is 49:16. Etched on our saviors hands that's how personal God knows you. 


-Now to bed I must head. I would add more but I am drowsy and my dear bed is calling one last time for I depart tomorrow for Idaho. Have a good night everyone!

-Kyle

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