There is a great danger in perpetuating the past that so profoundly changed everything about my life. This is a warning I've received from many. Although this blog could easily be perceived as an activity that inhibits my ability to move on, I have to disagree. It has proven to be quite therapeutic. When I do recount the past, or share a poem or song that has moved my soul, I am realizing that I am not quite as sad as I thought I was. Although my heart will always ache, I am always in the process of moving on.
Part of moving on has been a re-examination of my faith. The people who are closest to me are either confused, opposed to, put off by, scared of, or disgusted by that. I never understood the aversion to Christ if someone had truly read scripture and looked beyond the surface or whatever secular culture projects about him. Even if you think it is just a fairy tale...is it not a great one? I won't argue the ridiculous issue of war and religion. Religion and war are two issues Christ was opposed to. War is a human problem. But, this isn't a blog about that. Whatever you think about Christianity, this beautiful passage would have likely saved my marriage had I applied it to my life rather than living so selfishly.
Galatians 5:16-26 (MSG)
My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?
It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.
This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.
Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.