"Success, notoriety, affection, future plans, entertainment, satisfying work, health, intellectual stimulation, emotional support--yes, even spirtual progress--none of these can be clung to as if they are essential for survival. Only as you let go of them can you discover the true freedom your heart most desires. That is dying, moving into the life beyond life. You must make that passage now, not just at the end of your earthly life. You cannot do it alone but, with the love of those who are being sent to you, you can surrender your fear and let yourself be guided into the new land."
oh every bit of us will fight not to let ourselves die. but i don't really know why. maybe that's why we so often have to be brought to a place of desolation, because only there can we see the desirability of death in freedom from the comforts of this world that we settle for.
success at the top of that list has been one i've been feeling as i wrote a few posts back. but it's good to think about those other things as well. future plans has been terminal for some time.
i think the hardest for me are affection and emotional support. there is so much i feel like i have to let die right now...
maybe the biggest at the moment is control. i have so little actual control over my life, and i'm trying to accept that. i have also given it over to God, letting him be in control. and i have done my best to follow whenever he leads. i have not always been perfect of course, but i am trying--and at times i hold that against God. it is just another form of control to cast judgment on the way God has led me. i want to let go of that control--to even be able to judge from my limited perspective just what the hell God is up to. i'm no fatalist, and i know i haven't always made the right choices, but still. the challenge is trying to surrender that in the midst of still having the emotions that are conflicting. it's times like this when i am glad that faith can be an action, because it's hard to find heart. someone please tell me how to take heart.
i might add to that list "hope." a mpj line has stuck with me recently--"hope is comfort if not relief." i don't want hope that is a mere comfort. i want hope that means something, that is realized. does this belong on the list--or is it actually something that is essential for living? Dostoevsky says to cease to hope is to cease to live. but must we always fight for life? i also think of macdonald's words from a few posts back about craving more life. do we just keep fighting and going forward?
i feel like that's a very american point of view. we are so pragmatic in our spirituality. it all has to have a purpose and a use as we move forward and grow. but what kind of love is that? love for use is a cheapening. and we want our results. what good is all this going to do me? like that is some sort of consolation. and we want it as fast as possible. we want a red pill or a blue pill as william p. young noticed. we do not handle process well at all. i remember as a kid talking about how i wanted a quick death--so i wouldn't feel it of course. don't we all want such a thing in a way?
but as christians we are called to go through the process of death before we die. to feel the pain and agony of it because...is there a because? yeah, i suppose so that we can truly claim our identity with Christ and know others in their pain and not-yet-death. it is always a choice though, to choose the way of Jesus or not. can we see beyond the grave? the grave that meets us each and every day?
may our hope give us vision beyond. as all else dies let the comfort of hope die as well. but let the hope of life lead us into death and carry us through. but the focus can't be on the "through" in a sense--we must fully dwell in the present death and agony. and pray let the pain become the pearl. that is a love and a life i want to know.