Saturday, April 18, 2009

We must lose ourselves to find out who we really are.

The human heart is a deep well. Behind a person's smile, many unknown things can dwell, often without us even realizing that they are there. It is so easy to think who we are on the surface is who we really are. However this is all too often not the case at all.

The human heart goes much deeper than we realize. There are things dwelling deep inside us we don't even really know are there, and when push comes to shove in daily life, those things begin to get exposed, the masks come down and we are shown up for who we truly are and what we truly carry inside ourselves.

There is a huge unknown factor to this. Most of the time the things that we struggle with are not related to our circumstances at all - our circumstances are merely bringing to light who and what we truly are inside, below everything, in the darkest levels of our own minds. Everything in life is a test - a test to get to know ourselves and push us deeper into uncovering our own individual truths about who we really are.

We must learn not to resist hardship when it comes, for it is through hardship that we are pushed deeper into our own minds and hearts and what is there, instead of being hidden becomes exposed and in our faces - we have no choice but to either front up to it or continue to stew in our own agony. As we continue to do this, a light is shed into the darkest corner of our own hearts, and what was once unknown, unchartered and a breeding ground for fear and uncertainty becomes light, becomes known, becomes another brick in the strong foundation we must build in our lives if we ever hope to carry anything worthwhile in this world - anything related to eternity.

Our lives in the western world are made easier - and subsequently destroyed - through our wealth and culture of consumerism. We can go through our whole lives getting everything we ever wanted handed to us on a silver platter, never having to work for anything, never having to really put your heart and soul into anything, never putting anything at risk - including risking the masks we cover our lives with, and never once having to face the hardest thing to face - ourselves.

This culture creates a breeding ground for poor character and subsequently fruitless and unsatisfying lives. We spend most of our lives and most of our days building things around us - and inside of us - to save us from the cold, hard facts about ourselves. Though on the surface it all appears to be ok - all we are really doing is lying to ourselves and subconsciously protecting that which we desperately want to hide, as we think keeping everything in the dark will bring peace - where as the truth of the matter is we need to learn to face the truth about ourselves and keep nothing hidden, as that is the only place true peace, dependable peace, unshakable peace - is really found. Ignorance is bliss, however it only ever ends in destruction. Awareness can be very painful, however if we persevere and uncover the truth through our awareness, our awareness can subsequently bring us great peace.

I know what I'm talking about as well. I am facing a lot of hardship at the moment. My natural urge is to resist what I am going through, to run and hide, to deny the truth and hope for a change in circumstances to protect what I am already feeling. However, I know now that if I do this, this time will be wasted and I will probably end up facing the same thing later on in life. If I really want things to improve circumstantially, I must seek to thoroughly examine and change my own heart, and God will change my circumstances when He sees fit to do so.

This is a quote from Star Wars which, although perhaps a little extreme, hits on what I'm talking about -

"Tell me what you regard as your greatest strength, so I will know how best to undermine you; tell me of your greatest fear, so I will know which I must force you to face; tell me what you cherish most, so I will know what to take from you; and tell me what you crave, so that I might deny you…"

This is very true in many ways. We must seek to throw away the crutches we continue to stand on in our lives. The only thing we can depend on is God, and God wants to teach us to stand on our own two feet and not have the need for crutches. I'm not saying the church should not be united - it should. But each individual congregation member needs to only have one crutch in life - God. Everything else must come second, and we must only fully depend on God, for as much as we think otherwise - we will be let down by our other crutches, which we have put our full weight on, and we will subsequently crash very hard and very heavily.

Or perhaps even worse - live a life without learning what we need to about God and ourselves, and end up at the end of our lives with the realization that in denying the truth and refusing to ask yourself hard questions, we have actually robbed ourselves of a life that could have really meant something in eternity, rather than just a life that gathered a lot of possessions, all of which will just waste away and be forgotten at the end of it all. I can imagine nothing worse than getting to the end of my life, with nothing to look forward to besides the grave - and realizing I have done nothing but waste the chances given to me.

We must not run from our trials. We must embrace them. We must delve into the darkest parts of our own lives when God brings them to the surface, and surround ourselves with those who do the same. We must ask ourselves honestly - what do I really value in my world? Are there any crutches in my life I am depending on that I shouldn't be? Are there any false gods I am worshiping without realizing it that need to be torn down, or else I risk losing everything?

The Psalmist David hits on this in Psalm 139:23 -

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts."

David is asking God to bring what he carries within him to the surface and reveal it. Jesus also said something similar in Luke 17:33 -

"Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it."

If we try to save ourselves and try to resist everything that happens to us, block ourselves off from trials, and fight against our circumstances, we will ultimately end up losing ourselves. However, if we lose our masks and our coverings of fear and allow God to journey with us into those dark places, through those hard times we would rather resist, only then, will we truly save our own lives.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic post Mate: WOW!!! we seem to singing from the same page - Just posted a similar thoughts only seconds after you - GOD is amazing