Without asking too many questions, what are the thoughts that occur most in our brain? Are these collections of truths and as well misunderstandings the collection of who we think we are?
I was a postured Christian. I believed very quickly after being saved that in a regimented way I would spend a year working on this aspect of my spirit fed life, and then another. I was selling myself a picture that resembled compartmentalized Christianity. I would fall into the misunderstanding that for a time I would unpack this aspect of my life while never looking at another part of my life. One thing was true in this; I was not growing because I was under the false impression that God can only do one thing at time. It was putting God into a box that disallowed God to function at all.
I worked at it. I worked at improving myself. It was ridiculous the effort I put into trying to be better for whom I thought the effort was for. It was for two personas: my perception of how I thought people viewed me, and second how I viewed myself. Never at any time did I see the obvious that I should be better for what God intended me to be. I was always living up to a false ideal of what my world, that I had created, viewed by me. I created a world and then attempted to live up to expectations of what I thought that contrived world thought of me.
Christian or not, this is a sickness the world over. We create an image, a persona, a world in which we allow ourselves to operate and disallow our minds, speech and even thought to operate outside of these boxes. Yes, as the cliché goes, color outside the lines, allow yourself to have inappropriate thoughts. I have said it before: we are our thought police. We govern our brains to not step out of a box.
That is no way to live, that is insanity because you constantly start to grow and learn, and then you step backwards because the people you surround yourself with that you have conditioned them to perceive you in a certain way and cannot be allowed to think any other way about you then the world you create. Truth is though you are kidding yourself, because eventually you will be face with who you are, and God is in control of when that time will be and what it will look like, and if you have not humbled yourself first, I guarantee you it will not be a pretty sight. Those days will come, I assure you of that.
At some point you have to take a step back and say ‘what the hell is going on out here?” in the immortal words Coach Lombardi. We must know these things: we can’t take money with us, and while success, respect and legacy is social currency what is it that you are exactly buying, or buying into: a nice comfortable world where everyone knows what to expect? From one another and it never truly hurts when someone says: “Harry Potter books and the Pixies never hurt anybody.” Another example: We get to the point of hiding that we love a strong economy but want social justice, white bread and almond butter. We live within into social norms but also norms that we have created for ourselves within these social norms. We live up to expectations of people within a construct of these norms that we have created. Meta-data meets meta-personality.
When we were not creating a persona for ourselves, we were meeting each other in the middle; that is what life is about. When we became to obsessed with making sure everyone knew who we were, we then became obsessed with not letting anyone into the membrane of who we are/were. The life of a cell depends on how permeable the membrane of the cell is. No shocker that if you extrapolate this analogy to people that people who themselves live as an island are less successful, less happy and I would go a step further and say live shorter lives based on their inability to access all that life has to offer, both practical and otherwise. While your network is very important, isn’t it important to not base your entire existence on settling for one norm you have designed for your image?
This brings me back to me, as some would say a favorite topic. I can’t help it, I am faced with me all the time. Why did I shut myself off for so long? Why did I tell myself that it was better to base my growth on legalism and attempting to be perfect? The truth is I don’t know, I believe I was attempting to leave it all behind and at the same time I would not allow my self pleasure, rest, and to step outside of my world that was set on just being a nice guy who can talk to anybody without evaluating their level of faith. I became so religiosity based while forgetting the point: we are here not just to help others, not by thinking we are above them, but by relating to people. At what point do we say: this person isn’t there yet, they are not in a position to talk about Jesus, and I am hurting them, my relationship, my ability to simply care for them as a human rather than saying: yep, “got another one for my collection…” That isn’t God; people make their peace with God, not with us. You can’t take money to Heaven and you can’t bring references. Try not to be too surprised by whom you see in heaven.
“Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.”
Acts 8:13 KJV