Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Spiritual Renewal: Too Dope to Pass Up

At like, 7:15 my generic Ritalin was totally wearing off and my brain was fritzing. I was walking to Spiritual Renewal evening chapel and I had a bazillion half-ideas in my mind and nothing I could do with them. Philosophy class, the sermon at Exit on Sunday, Monday's chapel, my insane busyness, and all this other BS I've been thinking about all creates this web of thoughts. One of my chicas on the wing said it's a blessing...but I don't know about that. It's bullcrap, really (hate that word. Everyone knows I mean to say bulls*** but scruples prevent me from actually saying/writing it.) Anyway, here's the guts of it:

First, there's spiritual renewal. This stuff is compelling. Not that it's new--but according to Socrates, you know everything that is knowable anyway. What's the point of revisiting the Gospel and plan of salvation? I mean, we're all saved here at TU anyway, right?? No, man. This stuff is deep and it doesn't stop with "Jesus, come into my heart."

I've thought about what "the Human Condition" entails until my mind has been drained shizless. I think there are three parts to it: 1) an understanding of oneself, 2) an understanding of the people around us, and 3) an understanding of God. Between Sunday's sermon and the last two days of chapels, all three bases are covered, plus one: we are born in alienation. We’ve fallen off the balance beam before we even got on. We are incapable of fully understanding ourselves, each other, and the Creator.

So Sunday: Darren was talking about marriage. He was giving this argument that God intended man to get married. Now, I haven't always been convinced of this. I mean, what's the real point of marriage? Is it companionship? Why isn't that possible without marriage, like with friends? Is it for children? What if I'm not prepared to have children or don't feel like I'm supposed to become a parent? Is it for sex? Isn't that shallow?

I don't have answers for these; and that used to kill me. However, I'm not as anti-marriage (for myself) as I used to be. The turning point came when I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (stop laughing. really. I mean it now.) There was just this idea of love as being independent of virtue…loving, neither lifting up (on a pedestal) nor smothering, not “in spite of” (what right do I have to love “in spite of” your problems, as if I deserve anything better?)…”to love and not devour,” essentially.

And it’s not just marriage where we fail, either. Even though we may have intense relationships with God, how does that translate to friendships? Spiritual Renewal speaker Colin Smith said that if I could see the glory that God is about to reveal in the believer sitting next to me (Danny Loudermilk), I would be sorely tempted to fall down and worship him. And eventually, nothing will compare to the Glory that Christ will reveal in each believer.

Ah, but I can’t finish that thought…ADD is a painful thing that leaves me with incomplete ideas that morph into other ones more rapidly than a generous soul might smack me across the face and spare me this ridiculosity.

Our relationship with God is something we talk about a bazooka-load here at TU. No fear, I love chapel. I love worship—more than anything, really. But there’s the concept of communication with God…an interchange with him that is ongoing and continually morphing. How does that stay fresh? To quote the SR speaker, we have a shriveled view of the Gospel, one that is unworthy of Christ’s salvation if we think it stops with the forgiveness of sin. We grow closer to Him, we grow deeper in righteousness and confidence in His Spirit.

Self-confidence is also something Pastor Smith briefly addressed today/the other day/I don’t remember. The Holy Spirit comes, not only to break the curse of sin, but to reverse it. The theological term (and I love “terms”) is sanctification. To quote the epitome of Christian knowledge and philosophy, John Avery Whittaker, “It’s a matter of the spirit. Our spirit links up with His in an eternal relationship that gives us the right perspective to understand Him better.” And not only that, we grow more like Him. If we’re growing more like Him and have Him on our side, as my dear Paul says, “What then can we say in response to this?? If God is for us, who can be against us??”

Argh. And my mind has yet more crap-o-la! to speak of. But I'm tired and organizing that mess is absurd when I have class to worry about...dang. I still have to finish reading for tomorrow.

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