Thursday, April 19, 2012

A reSolution For Neediness

Watching a news show this morning and was intrigued, as I often am, by our (modern Americans) fixation with getting better results at getting better. There are now "apps" available for smartphones that will help you stop speeding, count your calories, lock down contacts in your phone whom you might call when you are drunk and say something stupid (or worse), and an app to shut down a computer to keep addicts from overdosing on websurfing!

App developers must have great fun, not unlike toy designers, I think, and their work is admirable in trying to use technology to make the world a better place. Sadly, however, it usually comes down to this: we attempt at the beginning of each new year to address the essential problem--our own neediness. But our feeble efforts come up short and so we redirect, at the very least, to making others better and consoling ourselves that we are helping "save the world." I wonder if the fierce passion that whale savers, wolf savers, baby seal savers, polar bear savers, global environmental disaster savers, save us from our Twinkies savers, et al, have for their causes is in direct proportion to the frustration of not being able to "manage the scale of their own being"? Can you see yourself in this description of the difficulty of ruling our own lives:

  • "If I find my position, my consciousness, that of one from home, nay, that of one in some sort of prison;
  • if I find that I can neither rule the world in which I live nor my own thoughts or desires;
  • that I cannot quiet my passions,
  • order my likings,
  • determine my ends,
  • will my growth,
  • forget when I would, or recall what I forget;
  • that I cannot love where I would, or hate where I would;
  • that I am no king over myself;
  • that I cannot supply my own needs,
  • do not even always know which of my seeming needs are to be supplied, and which treated as impostors;
  • if, in a word, my own being is everyway too much for me; if I can neither understand it, be satisfied with it, nor better it—may it not well give me pause—the pause that ends in prayer?
When my own scale seems too large for my management; when I reflect that I cannot account for my existence, have had no poorest hand in it, neither, should I not like it, can do anything towards causing it to cease; when I think that I can do nothing to make up to those I love, any more than to those I hate, for evils I have done them and sorrows I have caused them; that in my worst moments I disbelieve in my best, in my best loathe my worst; that there is in me no wholeness, no unity; that life is not a good to me, for I scorn myself...

When I think all or any such things, can it be strange if I think also that surely there ought to be somewhere a Being to account for me, one to account for Himself, and make the round of my existence just; One whose very being accounts and is necessary to account for mine; Whose presence in my being is imperative, not merely to supplement it, but to make to myself my existence a good?...
To know God present, to have the consciousness of God where he is the essential life, must be absolutely necessary to that life!
He that is made in the image of God must know him or be desolate: the child must have the Father!"
 Passion is better than indifference as fear is nobler than sensuality. My prayer for all my friends is that you will direct your passion and efforts to knowing Life Essential, Life Eternal...knowing God our Maker. He sent His son with this directive: lead them to Me. Listen to His words. Put them into practice. Become, even as Jesus was, is, and always will be an obedient child of God by opening your heart to Him and doing the things He tells you to do. 
"The very patent of our royalty is that not for a moment can we live our true life without the Eternal Life present in us and with our spirits. is dead if he does not know the Power which brought him into existence."
Adapted from THE WORD OF JESUS ON PRAYER, Unspoken Sermons II, George MacDonald