Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Dark and Twisty Fool

Any time I use my intellect to pursue God I start down a bad, BAD, very bad path. When I try to figure God out I end up confused, sad, angry and sick. You know why?  I am not equipped to figure God out.  Who knew? 

As a child I was raised Catholic.  At home, at school, in church,  I accepted everything I was taught.   One of those things was not to question because all is mystery.  As a child I was exceptionally good at this. I did my best to be obedient, I trusted and I believed in all that is good and right in this world.    I kept it simple.   And I was happy.  But somewhere in there I grew up.   And I started to think too much.

Now I believe that I have a good heart.   And I know the difference between right and wrong when it comes to my own actions.  I may not be able to judge your heart or your actions but my insides always tell me what the right action is for me.  I trust that.   Unfortunately I have lots of practice ignoring my insides.

My head though is a different story altogether.   My head is wired for dark and twisty, complicated, catastrophic, negative, destructive thinking.   My thoughts often don't start out on the dark side but this is what happens. I start trying to figure things out in my head.  Right there a red flag should go up because without fail I am about to snowball down the aforementioned bad, BAD, very bad path.   Self knowledge leads me nowhere. And it's worse when I think I have knowledge about you and that I  have you figured out.   When I am absolutely sure I'm right it is a given that I am wrong.  This is why I have good people around me.  To set me on the straight and narrow. 

And this is what happens every time I try to figure out God.   Seems my God chooses to remain a mystery and no matter how hard I spin my wheels all that happens is that I tire myself out and make myself unhappy. I judge myself because I don't understand God.   Because how am I supposed to believe in Something I don't understand? All of this is to say that faith and belief are extremely personal and not something that can be proven. (or figured out)  One thing I know though is that I can't ever trust my screwed up mind.   I have to go with my insides.

And here are the things my insides tell me.
  • God exists
  • Evil exists
  • I don't understand why evil exists and I've not been able to find an acceptable answer or one that can comfort me. However, I believe that God cries with me when I am in pain.
  • I believe I receive guidance when I allow myself to be open to it.
  • I believe that though I need God's strength to accomplish anything, He won't do for me what I am capable of doing for myself.   Case in point, I asked God for years to help me trust Him.  And then I went about my business and when something challenging happened I became frightened and refused to trust.  Finally, one day, after I'd cried to her yet again about this, Sunshine and Happiness said to me,  "Look you just have to say, God, I trust you and then act as if you do. That's the only way to learn trust.  God can't do it for you."   Damned if she wasn't right.
  • I believe I have a choice every time I am faced with a situation about whether I am going to turn toward the light or go the dark and twisty route.
  • Going the dark and twisty route never leads me to my Higher Power. It never brings me serenity.
  • I am of 2 natures, both saint and sinner, capable of both good and evil.
  • My God wants me to choose to go toward the light.  It's just that sometimes I don't want to.
  • I have a purpose in this world.
  • Altering my mind with alcohol, drugs, food, co-dependency, etc. moves me away from God and my purpose in this world.
  • Gratitude, doing the next right thing, engaging in relationship, prayer, meditation and being of service to others bring me closer to my Higher Power and peace.
I started thinking about all of this because I haven't played guitar in years but for some reason today I dug it out.  I plucked and plunked along but the only song I could remember was God's Own Fool by Michael Card.   Now I've known this song since my college days and since college have had a mixed reaction to it  When I read the lyrics I'm put off because I don't like proselytizing.  I don't believe that there's only one way, one path to God and I cringe at those who push this idea onto others.  Christianity as an organized religion at best leaves me cold and mostly just makes me angry.  Intellectually this song embarrasses me.  And yet ....

My heart says otherwise.

God's Own Fool
Seems I've imagined Him all of my life
As the wisest of all of mankind
But if God's Holy wisdom is foolish to man
He must have seemed out of His mind

For even His family said He was mad
And the priests said a demon's to blame
But God in the form of this angry young man
Could not have seemed perfectly sane

And we in our foolishness thought we were wise
He played the fool and He opened our eyes
We in our weakness believed we were strong
He became helpless to show we were wrong

And so we follow God's own fool
For only the foolish can tell
Believe the unbelievable
And come be a fool as well

So come lose your life for a carpenter's son
For a madman who died for a dream
And you'll have the faith His first followers had
And you'll feel the weight of the beam

So surrender the hunger to say you must know
and the courage to say I believe
Let the power of paradox open your eyes
And blind those who say they can see

And we in our foolishness thought we were wise
He played the fool and He opened our eyes
We in our weakness believed we were strong
He became helpless to show we were wrong

And so we follow God's own Fool
For only the foolish can tell
Believe the unbelievable,
And come be a fool as well