Arbtirary thoughts on nearly everything from a modernist poet, structural mathematician and functional programmer.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Spirituality, laws, and love

I've been in an interesting spiritual state for the last month and a half. On the one hand, I feel much closer to God than I ever have (barring a few short bursts of inspiration); on the other, I feel like I'm exactly the same-- with the exact same flaws-- as I've always been. Perhaps it'll always be that way. Paul himself struggled with the personal disgust that's associated with sin.

Anyway, I've read in the last 2 months, from Genesis through Kings. There are times when I'm reading and I'm trembling with awe at God, but it typically ebbs after I close the book (or just as often, leave it lying open on the floor by my bed). I've perpetually been just below that state. It's extremely frustrating because I think "What can I do to come closer to God," but I know (and it's so hard to actually live it) that it is not through our own ability, but through God's grace that we come closer to God. I want Elijah's spirit. I want to be able to talk to God the way Moses did. So I pray for the presence of God; I pray to be struck dumb with his beauty and glory; I pray for this more frequently than I've probably ever prayed in my life.

Today, Sully and I were talking and he talked about how annoyed he is when someone thinks they have the way; that if only people would listen to them, do things like they do, they'd be righteous-- as if our knowledge and ability save us. I listened, and agreed, but was struck with how much God was pointing a finger at me through him.

I'm so quick to judge legalists, so quick to pass off everything they say with a "Your mind is in the right place, but your heart is empty" that I've slipped off the other side of the mountain as I backed away from them. I am a whore for what Kierkegaard calls "the aesthetic". I really need to take one large step back toward those people I've so long tried to distance myself from.

On a related note, perhaps I am closer to God than I think. Katie broke up with me today, and I'm surprisingly fine with it. It's not that I actually don't mind. It's just that I know it's something God has called her to do. I've been hoping otherwise, but it's becoming increasingly obvious (especially over the last week) that we are being called in different directions. Suppose it had not happened now, but in another 6 months... It would be so difficult for either of us to give it up for what we've been called to do. Anyway, I think she's having more trouble with this than I am, and the "gentleman" I am, I just want to be there to help her through it... which may or may not have the opposite effect.
I can deal with talking to someone I want a romantic relationship with, but the one thing I'm dreading is telling people it's over: I'm afraid that other people won't understand, or will think it's just a cop out.

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