Before I unload some brain-baggage here, I’ll post some fun pictures.
It was a fun weekend just been. I got to visit my Cousin Rach and Sam and flatting atmosphere in Dunedin on the way down to Invercargill for the Thomson Christmas Party. It was a long two days with a total of about 14 hours driving. But I did enjoy it. Having yarns with Mum in the car, skateboarding up Baldwin Street, and catching up with relatives in Invercargill that I hadn’t seen in over 7 years.
It was tiring weekend too. That’s where the next bit of this post comes in. At the least I hope this serves to assure people that even world record breakers still have issues that they are working through…
So this is excerpts of an email I sent to a friend lately…it gives a general idea of where I am at with the identity of myself in relation to my spirituality.
All part of my re-entry into my home culture. It aint no walk in the park.
….I cannot see a better way of living than that that Jesus represented. Casting off the old self…all that carry on. By nature there is a dysfunction in the human condition. We miss the point of living…we live blindly and unhelpfully and unlovingly (Page 9 – A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle)…and that causes suffering. The way of Jesus is such a clear-cut way to transcend so much suffering while we are on this earth. It is a way to bring heaven to earth, rather than hell to earth. Jesus, at the core of his message, is love.
So this is an awesome message for the here and now. It is freeing, and allows people to realise their God-given potential and empowers them to grow into who they were created to be; powerful and effective beings. The love ethic of Jesus is ultimately transferable to all areas of human existence; stewardship of the earth, social justice, interpersonal relationships, inter-cultural understanding…
So….this is an awesome has-no-borders message for people of all cultures. And it certainly does not require forcefully imposing a certain form of social ‘ways’ upon a culture such as Christmas trees, baseball caps, synthetic medicines, blah blah blah…
Purely from this perspective, I would love to be involved with missions, spreading the love ethic of Jesus.
And here it comes…
There is that little niggling issue of the after-life. Some humans require some assurance that this is not all there is. Something that has been growing in my mind is “why even bother about the concept of the afterlife. Why even bother about concerning ourselves about what we need to do or not do in order to be saved from death after death. Let’s just concentrate on the here and now, and what we can do to avoid ‘death’ (relationally, environmentally etc) now”.
Then this of course doesn’t account for the fact that us humans are incapable of true, pure, truly unconditional love. We will always do things that hurt ourselves or others or the environment. When the power of love overcomes the love of power, only then will the earth know peace is a bit of a favourite saying of mine. But rationally, us humans could never get to the point of total pure self-sacrificial love for each other. Even if every person on earth managed to discover within themselves their potential for love and was able to live it out the best they could, there would always be some un-lovingness. So even in this utopian ideal, there would be some un-love. Some selfishness. Some missing the mark of the ideal.
So that’s where Jesus comes in, I guess? Dies on the cross, rises from the dead (as a physical risen-from-the-dead human body made from matter and atoms and cells and can eat fish and people can poke their fingers in his nail-hioles and floats into the sky and goes…..um……up…..um……into outerspace…..um…..a human body….floats…..into space…where does the matter go…the human body of Jesus….into outer space? What the hang was that all about?!) and covers the bits that we humans could never achieve on our own…
As you can tell, I am thinking out loud.
And far too much thought, and far too little actually reading the b i b l e.
But that still doesn’t answer my issue with not everyone on this earth having the opportunity to hear the un-biased, un-tainted-with-church-doctrine-and-tradition message of Jesus. I mean, forget about ‘the four corners of the earth’…how many people have walked away from the church discouraged and hurt and confused because the image of God that they were given was not an accurate balanced one? Due to the mistake of the church they are doomed?
This journey I am on, by the way, is something that I am very thankful for. I saw sooooo many cultural/religious/nationalist/faithist/patriotists on my travels where all that stuff was merged into one. I am therefore I am . I am determined not to be that way. I am determined to know what the ramifications of what I claim to be are.
Right now nothing resonates with me. The last two opportunities I have had to take communion, I have decided not to, because I am just not feeling anything. I don’t want to do it just because ‘that’s what Christians do’ or because it is a meaningless ritual. Yes Jesus’ love ethic is incredible. But the concept that Jesus died for our sins…all have fallen short of the glory of God….why are these concepts not resonating in my heart any more? In the past, was I just fuelled by emotion? Fuelled by a ‘religious’ fervor?
Songs that I once sung with passion are feeling uncomfortable and hollow. Lyrics are just words, rather than meaning.
How do I get a heart-head connection going here?
When all the nice feelings of singing and community of like-minded people are absent for a period of time, I have found that I start to see the inconsistencies and irrationalities that I never had the drive to question. Because hey…if I’m in a nice Christian church bubble, I only get grazed here and there by people who point out the bits that don’t make sense. And then I can climb back in the bubble and feel safe and comfortable and not have to think that perhaps, just perhaps, this church entity is actually trapping people, not setting them free.
But then I see that I do not ‘go to church’…I am the church. Me with my questions and confusion and my rational conviction that Jesus’ way is an awesome way to live and does actually allow people to become the best version of themselves that they can be on this earth.
But I don’t fully believe right now. To fully believe is to accept that all that Jesus said is true. That it is in fact the absolute truth, and all other truths (religions, ways to ‘God’) are but relative to Jesus’s truth. That they may contain bits of the truth, but only Jesus’s truth is the complete truth. Essentially that is what it is to be a Christ follower. Yes?