Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Everyday Passions

I think a lot, probably too much. The other day I woke up thinking. That's when you know you have a problem. Anyway, I was thinking about the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ.

So, Jesus was always talking crazy. He even told His followers to take up their cross and follow Him. Now I would like to think I could somehow sacrifice my life for the world, but I am just not sure it is realistic or what Jesus meant. I hear the crackling of a fire being fed.....

But the cross was a fearful element. It meant cruel torture. It meant acceptance of how things are, how they need to be, not a fantasy ending. While Jesus carried that cross on the road of sorrow, he felt weakness. He felt drained. He had difficult seeing. He was burdened and overwhelmed. He probably became disoriented and lost. He could not think of one more step as he fell. Veronica wiped His face, but could not wipe away the pain. Simon helped carry the cross, but could not take the cross away.

The suffering of the cross reminds me of the suffering we have endured. Our burdens of addictions and habitual sins created such pain, such lonely pain. We felt weak and alone and confused and unable to continue.

The trick is, to keep walking to our death. Yeah, sounds twisted, but if we don't end this, it just recurs and echoes thru our spirits. That old person must pass away so the new person can take form. In the utter despair of our own crosses, just as Jesus, we cry out for God, perhaps not even realizing to Whom we call. But He hears us, welcoming our desire to die to the old life so that He might resurrect us.

I have to choose it. I have to be willing to step away from the old rotting flesh and into the light of a new dawn. I have to be willing to risk not knowing, not being self sufficient, not being able to fix it, not being good enough. I have to be willing to accept the hand God extends to pull me up out of the mire. But in this rebirth, this recovery, I find life.

Not the "Wow, just won a million dollars and I am set for life!" sort of way, but in the "apple a day keeps the doctor away" sort. This is not the end nor the solution. It is a way of life, a process. I die to the things that keep me sick, stuck, in sin and find my hope and life in my journey toward God. I wish I had the steps down and fell back on it the moment I screwed up, but invariably, I don't. I languish in the pain and whine. I whine in prayer. I pray confused. I confuse whining with prayer. And my Father finds some way to reach my hard heart and let me know it is time to start the walk again, to die again, so that He might, again, give me life.

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