Chaos is in the Eye of the Beholder

I realized something: I’m sorta afraid of death.

It made me wonder why. Death is the doorway to heaven. It’s the end of pain, and hardships, the end of imperfections. For those who know they need God (and earnestly seek him) it’s a one-way ticket to eternal happiness.

On the other side of the coin, it’s the end. It’s the dark sucking hole that is impossibly empty. For those who don’t believe, it’s just the end of existence. That doesn’t seem so very bad. You do what you can while you’re here, and when you die, you don’t care, you’re dead.

(Plus there’s Hell, that’s scary, but that’s another article.)

But I realized why it’s scary to us people. Here’s what I think:

I’ve been reading about people and God, more specifically the intimate relationships between individual people and God. In his book The Normal Christian Life, Watchman Nee talks about how living for God is absolute. You don’t act upon your own ambitions any more. You either do, or you don’t.

In a world where your career, or what you’re going to do when you grow up, or how you’re going to support yourself (let alone a family!), are questions weighing down most jobless people, it’s very hard for us to trust in God. Especially because God’s rewards aren’t often physical rewards. His rewards come in spiritual formatting, more regularly. And that software doesn’t compute with our hardware: the physical.

All that to say, people have a hard time surrendering themselves to God, more so when they’re pressured by whatever problem is directly in front of them. They can be forced into having tunnel vision, where they can’t see God and the spiritual aspects of life, because what’s happening in front of their physical being is seemingly more pressing.

When this happens, it becomes even more difficult to let go.

Imagine you’re holding your infant child, and you are going to hand it to your most-trusted friend. You can judge the distance with your eyes. With your arms and hands you can feel their arms wrapping around your child. You reach out slowly, transferring the child into your most-trusted friend’s arms. Piece of cake.

Now imagine your most-trusted friend is invisible. Not only that, you can’t feel him. You cannot sense him. Would you trust yourself to hand over that newborn baby?

I know I wouldn’t. Because, when I let go, I can’t control what happens.

Control is something that we people think we can have. We can’t. Even if you don’t believe in God, you know that each individual has their own choices. They’re all going to choose something. You may be able coordinate large groups of people, maybe even whole countries, but you’ll never be able to control each individual.

When planning a summer BBQ, Sharon can’t make sure Lisa brings the potato salad, that’s up to Lisa, to put in the car and drive the car to Sharon’s. And that’s not to say that it’s up to Lisa entirely, her husband Frank may decide he doesn’t want to share the deliciousness his wife made, or their dog Dennis may not be able to resist the aroma. As you can (hopefully) see, control is impossible. But we like to think it’s not.

This element of chaos, the fact that we don’t have any control, is obvious in trusting God, because he may lead you one way, and then slam the door in your face, in order for you to find the other doorway. His methods aren’t chaotic, they just appear that way to those who are only capable of seeing one side of the story.

For me, personally, it is very hard to trust God. Whether he is asking me to respect my siblings or my parents, or he’s showing me something I’m not sure I want to happen, or even trusting him in the things I do want to happen, that he allows to happen. All these things are difficult, because if they’re out of my hands, I am not sure I’ll get the result that I want.

His will, not ours. That is the hardest part, I believe. What he wants, not what I want.

I think that when you allow the Holy Spirit to be with your spirit, you can be in concordance with God. It is then, and only then. We all act outside of the Spirit, it’s nearly impossible not to, but if we could get to the point where we trust God enough to do all that he says, then we’ll be at a point where the consequences are always for the best, regardless of the immediate affect.

When we can trust God that deeply, death isn’t something to worry about. It’s not something to even think about, because we can’t control it (or anything), and we trust God to know that when he chooses to take us will be for the best.

It’s easy for our spirit to reach this level of trust, but difficult for our soul, our body, to reach this level. And that comes back to my point about the physical being more obvious to us, thus hindering our perception of, and willingness to trust, God.

I don’t think I’m scared anymore. Now, I’m anxious to reach that level of intimacy.

DayafterEasterSunday Monday

Now, DayafterEasterSunday Monday is not Internationally recognized for a reason. Nothing exceptional happened that day. At least by biblical standards, and that’s kinda what they’d be going on if they were to judge it’s worth as holiday.

So it’s not special. But that’s what today is, so that’s what this post is called.

In truth the poem I am presenting today happened much later than the day after but I figured a poetic pause was in order, so I paused.

Now you may hear my poem about the moments after Jesus rose into heaven.

(Angels of the Lord)

Don’t assume sadness
Even though He’s gone, he lives
All the angels sing
The reunion’s glorious
Heaven’s never seen such joy

 

Love is patient, right?
Immanuel is risen!
Finally you’re free
Eternally saved from sin

 

Revel in relief
Exclaim your joy; let them know
Till He comes for you
Until He gathers you all
Remain faithful, please
Never will he fail his children

Easter Sunday

“Well this came way outta East field!”?
“Didn’t expect anything! LEast of all this!”?
“Wow this is a bEast of a surprise!”?

Seriously how did we get from “Good Friday” to “Easter Sunday”? Was the media playing it down?

“Ah, yes, it’s a breezy seventy-five with a cool Easterly wind blowing this Sunday. And, oh, I guess a guy named Jesus died a few days ago, but now he’s okay, thank goodness. Now onto more pressing matters: Will Aunt Jemima the 1st continue selling her Maple Baklava? Find out next…”

Why not have it be HOLY COW JESUS JUST ROSE FROM THE DEAD Day?

(Yes, I’m just kidding about “East”er)

The fact is: Jesus died. Jesus rose again. I’ll let that fact speak for itself.

“Awesome, right?” it says. “Really cool, huh?”

My acrostic poem for the day:

(Resurrection)

Recompense for sins untold
Eternal salvation for souls unworthy
Salvation from eternal death
Unheard of grace
Real forgiveness
Raging power, unheard of strength
Empowering tale of redemption
Complete healing: from Death to Life
Total exoneration, forever
In Jesus
Our saviour
Nothing can come between us

SadderDay Saturday

(Wait)

Why did he die?
All his power, but he did nothing?
Impressive restraint
Tolerance unheard of

Solemn Saturday. Stinky Saturday. Super Unawesome Saturday. Terrible Saturday. (You see how that last matches up with Good Friday? It’s like aliteration, but with the letter directly after second word’s starting letter starting the first word. See how clever that was now? 😉 )

Whatever you call it this had to be the worst day for just about everyone.

For the disciples: though you  can imagine the days merging into one, the horrible reality of death must have hit hard on Super Unawesome Saturday.

For those who listened to Jesus’ teachings: they must have been sad as only those on the outside can. Not close enough themselves to be sad as family, but close enough to be sad for the family, and themselves.

For the Pharisees: well, we can only speculate here, because it depends on if they really did have Righteousy Guts of Steel, and could kill in the Lord’s name. If they believed that they’d done good, then they probably had a good day wondering why everyone else was so sad.

(One can always hope that they spilled coffee on their laps as they drove to the office, though.)

But God just whispered the word “wait” to everyone’s hearts. Just wait.

DeathFul Friday

Good Friday is the day Jesus died.

And you say this is a religious holiday? Sounds rather secular to me…

Fatal Friday, maybe? DeathFul Friday, perhaps? Forgettable Friday? I get that the man died for out sins, but there’s a reason we hold solemn, candlelit gatherings for his death.

It’s because he died.

Christians like to flaunt Jesus on the cross (crucifixes and such), but, um, OUCH! I feel that Jesus’ death shouldn’t be mourned, because he—ahem—spoiler alert—ahem—is still alive.

Instead his death should be mourned as the consequence of our sins. We killed an innocent man. In reality he died for us, of his own choosing, but to save us from our punishment. If you have trouble accepting gifts, try to wrap your head around this gift.

Amazing, huh?

In light of deathFul Friday, the day that Jesus was killed, for/because-of your sins, I’ve compiled a few AcrosTankanic (boy, I’m just making up words left and right to-yestermorrow) poems. Acrostic poems have verses with first letters that spell words (Acronym, Acrostic). For example.

Happily smiling
In your direction

Hi. Now, Tankas are similar to Haikus. But in stead of three lines with 5-7-5 syllables, Tankas have five lines with 5-7-5-7-7 syllables.

Now, in all truthfulosity (there I go again), I did stretch the boundaries a few times, but they should be close, or fit the poem regardless of syllabic content.

Without further ado, deathFul Friday Poems:

(Pharisees)

Devils in the night:
“Everyone believes in him!”
“A push starts a fight,
“Then down comes the Romans’ wrath!”
“He will bring death to Israel!”

Dastardly words said
Evil plans set in motion
Apostle Traitor
Thirty pieces of silver
How many lives will be saved!

(Judas)

Do not hurt him, please
Even if he deserves it
“A kiss to signal”
To think he had the power
He wasted it on beggars

Deceiver greats him
Eternal implications
A kiss of death laid
Trouble ensues; sword; slash; clash
Healing in the midst of doom

(Jesus)

“Do you come with swords,
“Even though I’m not a thief?
“Are you frightened?”
There’s no other way, Lord God?
“Heaven’s plan stands all alone”

Darkness fallen now
Everyone weeping wildly
Anon they’ll gather
They will watch as he is killed
His cries of pain will ring out

Death drawing nearer
“Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani!”
Aching, throbbing pain
The air’s escaping his grasp
Heaven’s tears fall; has Death won?

Love’s strength roars out
It searches for the divide
God and man, now one
Hanging there in the temple
Torn in two, the curtain’s dead

(Judas)

Did I really do it?
Earth’s only innocent man; dead
A murderer now
There’s only one thing to do
Hanging is a just penalty

Life and Death

Life and Death are inseparable.

Life is the beginning of struggles to find truth, to live truth. Life is a constant battle between our hearts and our greedy flesh. Life is also the time when we get to experience God’s love.

Death is the end of struggles to find truth, and the end of our constant battle with our flesh. It’s also a beginning. It’s doorway to the choice to live with God, in his unshackled glory, or to live without God, supposedly unshackled to be as we may.

On Earth, Life is judged with certainty. “Life is good,” they say. They say it because Life seems like something we can control. Reality tells us different.

On Earth, Death is judged a certainty. It’s the end from this vantage point, and it’s a sad, evil thing. It’s scary because we know we can’t control it.

From the Other Side, Life is a hardship to be borne. It’s cold, hard, and uncomfortable. It’s scary because we can’t control it.

From the Other Side, Death is a new beginning. There’s a decision which we can control, either on Earth, or on the Other Side. To live with God, or without. Without struggle, or with. With peace, or with pain, without strife, or without calm.

Life is Good.

Life is Hard.

Death is Hard.

Death is Good.