Tuesday, January 27

A story within a story....the acceptance of fear....

"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Colossians 2:2–3

The death that I seek, that of this 'nice guy' that I have been talking about lately who has haunted me throughout the years and hindered my growth as a child of God and a man seeking after His own heart, requires the one thing I fear, the one thing that I feel would not only be the death of the 'nice guy' in me but everything else that is me also. It has been the one word, discussing with my Savior this journey, that is the sum of it all:

Fear.

I still live with that basic fear that has formed itself in the childhood of my life; that moment in time when, disgusted with my failure (again), my father spoke the words that would shape and define my life's mission. "You won't amount to anything." Now, you may say that such a thing was too vicious and damaging to say to a child and you yourself would never do so.

Better to set up events, decisions and what not to affirm and create the successful boy that you want your son to be. My father wasn't intentionally trying to 'damage' me, but operating from the wounding of his own life....he figured that a 'little shake-up' would fire the passion that would enable me to overcome and succeed. The crushing of that heart was the result though, and I began to live a 'short-term' style of life; in relationships, in business, and in what religiousity I had.

Short-term gain, forget about the long-term risk.

I wouldn't be around long enough to pay for the crimes. You can't punish a dead man, and you definately can't get 'blood' from him.... Behold, the birth of the 'nice guy'. Now, I've realized, through the years the nice guy has refined and adapted himself to the realization that such a lofty dream, short-term living, wasn't being adopted by the world around him and (unbeknownst to him) God wasn't buying. Time and time again through this journey, I can pinpoint moments where I was living the short-term in hope of 'heavy penalties' and each time it was like an unseen benefactor would foot the bill and leave me there wondering where that Mack Truck that was supposedly coming on a direct collision course disappeared to. Disappointed, I'd move on to the next 'great failure'.

Driving into work today, with the 'light' dusting of snow leaving sheets of ice upon the roadway, I was struck at how...even with the empowerment of men that have no gain from edification or enclusion of this broken sham of a male member of this species, I live in a state of short-term....

And remain disappointed that the penalties aren't being assessed.

For that makes me responsible for the mess that my life is, has been, and makes it awfully hard to continue to place the blame for who I am living as now upon the moment in time of the wounding of my father. I have been given grace, through the powerful and effective power of a Risen King and Merciful Lord, and I believe in all my heart that I have faced the specter of forgiving my earthly father, gone so many years now only to find that I'm not living under that realization of grace nor the release of the wounding of my father. I have to face the ugly reality that I enjoy living in this place....no risk, no dealing...for after all, I'm just waiting for the Mack Truck incident......about the only thing is, I hope it won't hurt...too much.

I am coming to realize that it is there, trying to justify the fact that I feel inadequate to move forward and be what God calls me to be, that I have become complacent and quite happy to sit in this mired darkness, for it doesn't cost me a dime and doesn't cause me to have to begin to work my way out of the muck.

Convinced by the skill of denial that I am progressed enough to move forward, instead of being willing to mourn, grieve, and then bury the remains of my childhood in the grave of time, I have stopped moving and stopped growing because I've enough on my plate, thank you very much, to deal with. I want some peace, even if that peace is illusionary and more harmful than good. What was lost, either through the wounding of my father, the brutality of myself upon the remaining vestige of that ghostly image of a boy, and the decay of corruption that was the natural byproduct of such sinful and unrealized masculinity cannot be regained...in this world...for fallen state of man is linear as man himself and one cannot 'go back' to a way that was never realized.

That is where I have been fooled.

That is where I lost the responsibility I found on that Story Weekend and corrupted it with my own mired wounds. And that is where the 'nice guy' resides and is quite happy to call the shots. Not always, but enough to convince me that this wound hasn't been properly treated and healed and must once again be lanced to allow the poison to be released, and dug out, so that I can be the true man I was designed to be.

Instead of denying such a 'nice guy' fa├žade exists, I realize the need to recognize him within my story…that story that is a small, small part of the larger story that God has told since the dawn of the first day and progressed through the life, teaching, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. To realize my tendency to keep the 'new model' that I've received in the transformation of my soul into the 'new creature' to keep it 'new'.

Rather than lamenting the fact that I am going to tarnish, through the painful and sinful nature of the old, that new body…at least as I progress towards the final model in which Christ wants to present us, Paul says, as to His Father on that final day…..and that I'm going to dent and bash the sleek lines of its garments…

Realizing that God's warranty plan is good enough to cover the damages I cause.
As with my trip into work today, going through the patches of ice where it was clearly evident to me (though apparently not to those who flew by) that I was operating more by inertia than willful steering, trusting the ability of the laws of nature, and the dynamics of the car to carry me safely to the other side of the patch…..

I need to realize that much of my life, and the adventure back into the darkness of my childhood and my soul, is going to be like that sensation…..of being an unwillful participant in the science of inertia and gravity and willing to risk the damage of collision to get to the other side. God will know when the moment comes for solidity underfoot and when that sensation returns of friction, I need to be ready to 'give it some gas'.

Watching for that next patch of ice and trusting God to be Big ENOUGH to do what He plans in that moment.

Not to kill the 'nice guy', but to immobilize him with the fear he's used to keep me in the muck and accept him as a part of my story. But no longer a defining part of the larger story of God's plan.

It's time to end this chapter and risk the collision of my own making.

By taking the larger risk for the long-term gains.

Not by living a short-term life.

This is my story, not written for the personal gain of making you feel obligated to pray and stand in my stead but to speak to you and draw you out,

Into the Larger story of God's plan…..

"Here, little kitty, tsk tsk tsk….."

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