Sunday, June 25, 2006

I need a mirror.


I believe I might be rather aimless in my direction this morning. I woke up too early and then started to read the bible, then I read the posts on my blog and your responses. I read the posts on Jacob's blog and Dave's blog, Rob's blog as well. I wrote in my journal, I wrote about my discontent and my lack of peace of mind, not with the "church" or whatever, but with myself. I felt like I am missing the point. As much as I gripe and complain, as cynical as I have become, I wonder if the problem lies within myself. I get overwhelmingly emotional when I feel God, when I see products of his Grace in others. I see it in passion, in spontaneity, I see it in places that I would never expect. Although, I think what's more important than seeing it in other things is that other people see God in you. I'm wondering where my deep disgust comes from, it has been really easy for me to believe in God in my life. I have been blessed with a fortunate upbringing, loving parents, and a life rather easy. Faith isn't hard when you have things to be thankful for, but when Faith in God really counts is when a life is hard, when a life is seemingly hopless. I feel like a fraud. What kind of heart does it take to have faith in a God, when the church neglects you, when "christians" reject you, when life forgets you. I have had it easy. I do not fabricate my cynicism, it is a result, but at what point does it become distracting? At what point does it become counter productive. Sometimes I still feel isolated in my reasoning, why am I so overwhelmed with it. When do I grow, and move away from it, move beyond it. Kierkegaard said that it is "one thing to stand on one leg and prove God's existence, it is another thing to get down on both knees and thank Him." At one point do I resign my ideals and focus on my own insides. I do not mean to hide God's truth, his love and his grace, I mean to expose it for what I think it is, but perhaps that puts me in the same camp as those I gripe about. What am I missing? How can there be so many conflicting views about one truth? Why is the bible at times, not comforting, but trying? Am I justified in my bitterness, or is it just a product of my youthful ignorance and me being misguided? I love reading all the responses you give me, I love reading my fellow band mates' thoughts, I learn so much from you, from them. It convicts me, it makes me look back in myself and I realize that I am a child, and that I do not understand God because of my own lack of understanding. The church is not keeping from Him, no one is, the only thing that keeps me from Him is my own stubborness and arrogance. I want to let everyone know that I am aware of that, I do not mean to come of as self righteous, or wise. I feel like a child with eyes so very wide in my search for the truth of God that I am distracted by everything that comes into my periphery. I've always thought of the church as being rather devoid of mirrors in which to see themselves, and I realize that I am in dire need of an honest mirror. I'm merely trying. I don't want routine, or ritual. I want the reality of it all.

"He who loves god has no need of tears nor of admiration. He forgets his suffering in love, forgets it so completely that he would not have the faintest idea of his pains if God himself did not remember them. He sees that which is hidden and knows the torment; He counts the tears and forgets nothing."--Kierkegaard

10 Comments:

Anonymous Liisa said...

Dear Zach!
Don´t be so harsh on yourself!You´re a wonderful person, you just have you highspots and lowspot as everybody else!
And i really admire you passion and belief for God!

11:15 AM

 
Blogger disneydin said...

there are times in our lives when God chooses to test our faith. like the thorn in Paul's side (2 Corinthians 12:7-10), the times of weakness help us to grow.
but sometimes, things feel overwhelming and begin to distract someone from knowing God; having a deeper and perhaps clearer understanding of his/her faith.

we talked about this in church today. when the "desires of the flesh" start to interfere with the "fruits of the spirit" (Galatians 5: 16-22). it happens, many times when we don't realize it. eventually, when we do, we find that things--life--is harder and we are weaker because of it. but, as God said, "...For my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9) it takes that weakness, that vulnerability, to see yourself as others see you; a mirror you could say.

i don't know if this applies, but in my times of trouble, i just turn to God through prayer and there hasn't been a time where i've been let down. help doesn't happen instantly, but it does happen.

there's always going to be a level of mystery because nobody ever knows what God knows. He's got a plan and all we can do is try to follow Him as best as we can. as we grow, we mature, and begin to understand more about what God wants in our lives. but, just like learning how to walk, there will be times when we don't quite get it; times of weakness and maybe vulnerability. and in those times, God tests our faith and we grow.

i don't know if that is even on topic, but it's my two sense.

2:28 PM

 
Anonymous Katie / despite.these.rains said...

I so appreciate your sincerity in the post, and I know that nothing that anyone replys on the internet can necessarily make a difference. But I wanted to say that I think the reason God makes us aware of our shortcomings is because He wants to help us work through them.

And also, while I see what you are saying about cynicism and bitterness towards the Church being hinderances to faith (and I've found this true in my own life, to be honest) I also wanted to offer you some affirmation. God has uniquely gifted each person in His creation. He's planted things in you that might sometimes seem like stumbling blocks, but that He is capable of redeeming and using for His kingdom purposes.

I see God in your desire for truth, your personal vulnerability, your love of philosophy and reason, and your focus on seeing a Church more like the one Jesus would want. And I don't even know you! But I hope you can be encouraged and that you have people around you who will confirm what God is doing in you and help you strive towards righteousness in the midst of stuggles.

Peace.

9:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You said that you think it's more important for other people to see God in you than for you to see 'it' in other things. I think I have to disagree with that. Would it not be better to see these other things and the beauty in them and see God in yourself for yourself? Ultimately, we can't, or rather shouldn't define ourselves by the perceptions of others.

You know, I think that if the Bible were all easy comforting, we'd never grow. It is trying. We have to grapple with it's meaning over and over again. But the amazing thing is that God is out there, watching all of us in everything that we do...and he's always there for us. It's so overwhelmingly awesome and awe inspiring. I'm going to have to go read some Kierkegaard now. The quote is fantastic.

7:53 AM

 
Blogger Zach said...

"Would it not be better to see these other things and the beauty in them and see God in yourself for yourself?"

I was stressing the importance of the inward goal of living how you feel God is wanting you to and not to just focus on seeing God elsewhere. I see God in so many things, and I love what I see...but I don't want to stop there. So naturally, I want to be an example of God's beauty and grace as well, an honest example. Lofty goal I know.

8:45 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey you have no clue who I am but I'm a big fan of Mae and came across your blog here from the band's website...

"but when Faith in God really counts is when a life is hard, when a life is seemingly hopless. I feel like a fraud."

I was reading your entry and came across that and it stuck out SO much. I live in a Christian house @ Purdue University and I can't even begin to tell you how much I feel I can relate to that statement. It's so easy to believe in something so amazing when life is easy, but the minute things get rough we start to question our beliefs.

I guess I really don't have an answer for you (I guess it's one of those kind of things that's hard to find an answer for...), but I figured i'd let you know that I completely agree with you. I guess the only thing I can say to you is to keep on believing! :) Best of luck! God Bless!

Whitney
whirschi@purdue.edu

6:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I said something snide to the affect of 'stop reading, think it out.' What can I say, my own salvation is in literature.

"I beg you...to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language.

"Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live with them.

"And the point is, to live everything.

"Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer..."

--Rainer Maria Rilke


You Know Who

4:02 PM

 
Anonymous nina said...

woah... whos that rad person that quoted rilke?

i love all those quotes but here's another from the same book that i love, especially when i feel lost, which is almost all the time.

if only we arrange our life in accordance with the principle which tells us that we must always trust in the difficult, then what now appears to us as the most alien will become our most intimate and trusted experience.
--------------
So you mustn't be frightened, dear Mr. Kappus, if a sadness rises in front of you, larger than any you have ever seen; if an anxiety, like light and cloud-shadows, moves over your hands and over everything you do. You must realize that something is happening to you, that LIFE HAS NOT FORGOTTEN YOU, that it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don't know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change. If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.

anyway, its nothing new but sometimes you just need that reminder. hope youre well.

4:48 AM

 
Anonymous nina said...

woah... whos that rad person that quoted rilke?

i love all those quotes but here's another from the same book that i love, especially when i feel lost, which is almost all the time.

if only we arrange our life in accordance with the principle which tells us that we must always trust in the difficult, then what now appears to us as the most alien will become our most intimate and trusted experience.
--------------
So you mustn't be frightened, dear Mr. Kappus, if a sadness rises in front of you, larger than any you have ever seen; if an anxiety, like light and cloud-shadows, moves over your hands and over everything you do. You must realize that something is happening to you, that LIFE HAS NOT FORGOTTEN YOU, that it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don't know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going? Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change. If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.

anyway, its nothing new but sometimes you just need that reminder. hope youre well.

4:48 AM

 
Anonymous Jamie said...

Wow. I stumbled across this post, somewhat by accident. It was like reading thoughts from my own blog, because that's EXACTLY how I've been feeling lately. It's nice to know there's people who feel the same. Thank you. Be encouraged. Sorry this response is over a year late. I LOVE MAE. Peace.

8:30 AM

 

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