Saturday, November 6, 2010


A realization after a session of yoga.

I can open my eyes and gaze full upon reality because reality is where God dwells.

Live long enough and you will lie to yourself. Animals do this without any of the functions of higher consciousness. At the New Orleans Zoo, I found a cute little chameleon in a small cage outside of their World of Reptiles or whatever it's called. Red mottled with green it clung to the cage. When I brought my head, colossal, misshapen, a terrifying monstrosity held at bay by the thin wires of the cage, the creature averted its eyes. Why? Would I disappear once it stopped looking at me, I, who have the power to crush it within my hand? Would its refusal to acknowledge reality change reality? Then why do we look away from reality? Why do we avoid asking the difficult questions? Why do we avoid searching for more difficult questions?

In my last post, I recounted my friend's question "Why do you (Stanley) study something so anti-Gospel?" I found my answer weeks and months later. I search because I believe. Supra-rational, non-rational, pre-rational, irrational, whatever you wish to say, I hold this belief in an ultimate being who acted, continues to act and will continue to act in history, who incarnated himself a little over 2,000 years ago, who dispenses treasures beyond imagining today. I believe.

And what could be a surer sign of faith than to test it? Princes and ideas should be shot at in order to prove their right to hold the throne. If God is real, if God was correct in his estimation of himself as the Scriptures recount, then let's ask the difficult questions.

The most difficult question continues to be the question of joy. It's the question I ask when I lift, when I dance, when I write, sing, love, run, jump, explore: "Are you God greater than your creation? If so, then how? Then why? Show me." I've heard testimonies all throughout my Christian life: I was a great businessman. I had it all. Then I was ruined. But in my ruin, I found Jesus and I much prefer Jesus. So they say. Or sometimes they had it all and gave it all up at the height and devoted their life to Jesus. Rarer but still out there. I need to find out. I need to ask. And I need to make the question as difficult as possible so that the answer might be worth as much as possible.

You see, I've lately been wondering what Christianity can offer to the mature person. The sermons decry petty materialism, the pursuit of European cars, clothes, metropolitan vacations, skyrise apartments with commanding views of the city, gastrophile cuisine. In short, consumption for consumption's sake. There seems to me very little Gospel and a lot of blue collar populism in those talks. What does Christianity have to offer the man who knows he will die and is not afraid, what dreams may come? What does Christianity offer  the man who cares little for material acquisition? Where is Christianity's joy? And does it match the joys of the created world?

I'll ask that question every inch of tomorrow's 26 miles.

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