Monday, April 7, 2008

Our lives are not our own. an illustration

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." - Proverbs 16:9

I was thinking about this on a walk in the woods yesterday. I think we usually lie to ourselves in a few ways when it comes to life. We either tell ourselves that everything that happens to us is our fault because we are the masters of our fate - as a poet once said, we make our own destiny. I think the other thing people believe is blind fatalism, in that we can fight all we want but in the end we can't change anything, the universe has conspired against us and onward we float toward the eventual waterfall.

I have felt both ways before, and I'm sure I will again. But I've been thinking, maybe Jared/Calvin is right and we are able to choose our own way, but strangely every path we choose was really the only path we could choose anyway. Maybe it's like Rob Whittaker used to tell us, and the will of God is like a 6 lane highway. We can switch lanes, but we're still headed in the same direction.

I have a feeling that our lives are not our own. I feel like I have been given an incredible gift - life. It can feel like a burden sometimes, and maybe it can be so painful because it is so valuable. I don't know if you can have one and not the other. The whole good without evil argument that apologists use.

I used to think we had alot more control over how we lived. I used to think life turned out well for Christians and problems were like mini-fires that pop up every once in a while, and we simply put them out and move on. That's how I used to imagine struggles and trials which was easy, we overcome and move on.

My image now is alot different. I feel like life - maybe I should specify, the Christian life - is like walking through a forest fire. It's not a perfect world with small fires, it's a world of smoke and flames and black burnt out forest that we wander through, and every once in a while a wind blows by and we catch a glimpse of the blue sky, we get a breath of clean air, and we know that one day we will reach the end of this slow walk through the ruins, to a good place once more. It's not that life is like a checklist to go through, or accomplishments to be made, but more like a long long movie, with boring parts, sad parts, and amazing parts. Every beautiful thing we see is an image - a small part of the glory ahead.

So that's what I think life is like. I also think that everyone else in our world is taking a completely different approach. I feel like everyone else is saying for us to just sit down and enjoy the wasteland, and that it's actually the greatest good there is. That we are delusional for thinking there's an end to the forest fire, and that our best chances lay in enjoying life in this fallen place, and that if we go off walking for our whole lives we waste what little hope we have left.

That is my Forest fire illustration. My next post will be a 28 days later/ Zombie illustration.

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