I don't know what to call this...the sqeeze, the tightness, the's this feeling in your gut that is taut with anxiety over something that can't be explained. I just had breakfast with a guy that was talking about it, yesterday I talked with someone who was trying to put words to it, last week I encountered several people all saying the same thing with different words. People live with an abiding angst on most days. They wake to a cold world regardless of whether their life is filled with money, pain, accumulation, hardache, signifigance, loneliness, or success.

There is this storm inside all of us that won't subside even if things are put in order on the outside. Almost every morning I have to talk myself out of insecurity, despair and fear and into joy, freedom and confidence. Why is that? I have a great life...better than most. My parents are still together, my siblings are all in full time ministry, things are going well at my job, I have a beautiful wife, I have three adorable daughters that keep me on my toes, I have a sweet house, I have a cell phone, cable, a membership at the YMCA, I can play the guitar, I can play sports, I love to read books, I have alot of good friends, I have a laptop, I have freedom of schedule, I'm recording an album, we have two cars, we have a McDonals playland in our town, I live close to two rivers with a couple covered bridges, and the list goes on and on. I have nothing to complain about, but still I find this relentless voice whispering dark words to my soul. It speaks of futility. It taunts me. And it's a loud voice even though no one else can hear it around me when it's screaming it's poisen into my heart.

Keeping people alive around me is a full time job. I'm continually reminding people of hope against all odds....but the odds are daunting if I do say so myself. I'm breathing life back into their collapsed lungs trying to get them to inhale in some "possibility". As I identify with their feelings of abandonment, despair, loneliness, and apathy...I wonder where this unspeakable pressure and presence comes from. Why is there this universal ominous cloud of confusion that plagues the human spirit? Why can't we find the freedom that we're pining for? Why doesn't yesterday's joy trickle into this morning's woes? Why does last week seem like it was a different life time and the memory of it leaking out of my mind as I type? How can years of study and hours of time spent in prayer and Scripture reading seem so powerless in it's defense against the onslaught of overwhelming depravity? Is it me, or are we outnumbered? I know our world is filled with refreshers who must wake early to the sounds of moaning souls needing an "at a boy" or a "keep your head up", but sometimes I just feel sequestered in a world of daunting demise ever nipping at my heels.

Ok, since I said all that, I must say that between yesterday's post and today's, nothing has much changed. This one just steps back and takes a look from a different angle at the same thing. All of us have infinite facets that make up the whole of who we are...and just a tilt of the head and a shift in the background scenery can take the object you're gazing at and give it a whole new texture. I think I'm experiencing a bit of that today. I still feel strangely encouraged. I feel like I'm resting on top of a heaving chest cavity with a pounding heart just below the surface...and the living being is none other than God Himself. To seperate myself from feeling the intensity of these emotions and considering the weight of these intellectual arguments would be to climb off the lap of our Lord and run for cover under the cloak of composure. How I long for composure...some days I would trade almost anything for its smooth and fluid feel. I lust for the life of knowing...surety...certainty...constancy. Why can't I just pull it together?

But I've noticed something...I still laugh really hard, I listen with attentiveness, I desire with a passion, I love simple things still, I adore nature, I play with my kids, I joke around with my wife, I speak at church with ardent honesty, I care deeply, I cry about meaningful situations (movies or otherwise), I love to study culture, history, and people, my senses are sensitive still... undulled by common killers of the human spirit...and I wonder. I wonder if being fully alive costs something that many are not willing to pay. I wonder what torture of the soul I must endure to experience the full orbed life of a Jesus follower. I cannot buffer my heart or insulate my heart from the terror of the bad without keeping it from the beauty of the good. Or so it seems. I would love to keep all the wonderful without the threat of the aweful, but that's silly really...we all know that is just crazy talk.

So people are being ravished all around us today...haunted by painful memories, hunted by ruthless shame, hounded by paralyzing lies...and they are proped up with thining braces of belief. If the kingdom, in fact, will ever come to this will come through one human being to another. Or so it seems.


Popular Posts