Friday, August 20, 2010

The bible for religious people...

I think the bible was written for religious people, people who think they can do it all by their own methods and strength; people who think they can "achieve" salvation or a level of goodness or rewards all on their own. Yeah, self-righteous people. The rest don't really seem to need it as much. They're already humble perhaps.  Perhaps I'm wrong.
I was such a person (self-righteous, and still struggle with this), but what the bible has taught me, and continues to teach me when interpreted right, is that I can't do diddley-squat on my own in terms of important eternal stuff, like loving.  It's just a fact. I can't even understand spiritual stuff, like the scriptures themselves.
When I first started reading it, thankfully I quickly made it to the gospels, Matthew actually. By reading what Jesus said, particularly in the sermon of the mount, I came to realize how much was "demanded." I wasn't even remotely close. What did he want from me?! But then I saw that He did it. He actually somehow pulled it off. He was altogether good. And so began my journey out of self-righteousness, and the realization of my deep need.
Maybe all he wants is dependence on him, because he can carry us, and is. Why all the kicking and screaming, who knows? He knows. For me it was this: how could I depend on a demanding God? Sometimes he seemed so benevolent, but sometimes my tainted eyes only saw demands- demands. demands, demands. The blind religious system wrote all these out for me just when I was starting to escape. But Jesus always pulled me back, and continues to- "Damn those demands!!," I hear him say time and time again. I was raised under demands, raised up under them (they were my stupid foundations) and they have had to be torn down. (Such is the nature of religion- HEAVY YOKES.) It has not been an easy demolition for him, I'm sure. He's still at it, I'm also sure.

Yes, it's taking me a LONG while to begin to see that he didn't expect me to immediately be just like him, that he wasn't expecting everyone to be "perfect."  I still struggle with this. I really do. It's so deep seated in me. Knowledge hasn't been enough to eradicate it. Only the experience of love has and is. And he keeps on breaking through with love, and I keep on being amazed at his patience with me-- reckless love.
It is a real thing. If he (Jesus) wasn't really real we wouldn't even be here. What he did is EVERYTHING and more than I can see, because it's who he is- LOVE- real, transcendent- an all-encompassing loving being that does not relent, abandon or leave his loving-ness towards his people. Amazing. I am seeing it. Through all kinds of trials (made to humble me) I am seeing his care. I never knew how proud and stupid I really was. I never know until he comes along and just takes care of things in his mysterious way, never like I expected. What a fearful person I can be. The trials pile up, and he will make his way. So when will I learn to trust? When, oh when? He's winning me, like only he could.
So maybe I'm starting to trust him.  Because he has turned SO much junk for good. Surely he'll do the same with the rest of the seeming "junk," trials, worries, burdens, blindness. Maybe I have trusted him some, because he's loved me in tangible ways. He did die for me after all. No one else has done that. Even his ripping at my pride and stupidity is his love. So keep on, Jesus. Keep on doing what you do, because I know who you are. Sometimes I might not recognize you right away, but you don't give up on me, on any of us. You are our only hope.

note: I only refer to God as "he" because I am referring to the man (male) Jesus, his son.

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