Intellectually, I have come to accept/believe that Discipleship is more than just packing more butts in the country club while we wait for the great escape.
But I have trouble finding hope in something more than escape.
Especially within this life, there are odd bursts and moments where it appears that something glorious and creative and compassionate may lie on the horizon, but life has taught me, in general, not to hope.
That nothing is as good as I hoped, and often it will be far less, and often the entire question behind the initial hope was wrong.
It's far too easy to turn to "a life of duty, followed by an eternal reward", simply because what I see around me is daily trudge and bore, interspersed by moments of sheer terror and horror.
Do I believe that Jesus is with me in all of those moments? Certainly.
Is that any comfort? Not really. I was taught to embrace Christ from Duty. It's very hard to break out of a lifetime of Duty into something more...it's one of those many parts of the Christian experience that you have to find for yourself, that nobody can point you to, or lead you through. You have to be broken enough to find it for yourself.
But at times, I'm not sure how much more I can be broken. I'm sure that I can find out, but on my ongoing journey to the bottom, it's unclear how I am to be a source of hope and joy, when in fact I have none. My peace is found in that, no matter how bad it gets, when I die, it's over, and I'm going somewhere else. But that's a sort of resolution, a grim resolve. It's not Aeon Zoe.
I want to be enamoured with Christ in a way which grips my life, and shatters all of my complacencies, but I can't seem to get there from here. It's like that trailer for that film that you see every couple of years in front of the odd picture, that can't quite seem to get distributed.
Like some Gilliam project that just floats, never quite financed, never quite finished. Don Quixote.
I feel like there's something more, something there, just out of the corner of my eye, hiding behind an atom, impossible to grasp. It taunts me, it teases me, it reduces me to utter frustration.
We live here, day by day, in the psyche world. We're surrounded by an unending sea of pain and need and selfishness and greed and inhumanity. You can drown in it, if you let yourself. The waves will rise, and sweep you away, and the ocean will continue it's cycle unabated, and the waters will yield no briney secrets to your ears in the process.
The ssuration of the waves is a lie, their whispers are unintelligible. Move along. There's no pattern to discern here.
The man on the boardwalk sells hot, fresh guilt, duty, and legalism on a stick. There's a lady down at the end who, well, she peddles her wares. But it's an empty beach besides, most days. Either/or. Pot and kettle. Shake out the sand, change back into mufti, and drive home. It might be the ocean echoing in your ears, or it could be just tinnitus.
This malaise isn't life, but you sure could fool me.