Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Catch the Beauty

If you have been a parent of teenagers you'll understand what I am taliking about.  Your son or daughter--it isn't a gender issue--would go one way, when you want them to go the other.  They would text friends, play games, watch movies, and sleep, when you want them to focus on school work, volunteer to clean their rooms, or even the bathrooms--we have perhaps lost all sense of proportion--and begin to aspire to a future where they have some significant place--to begin to show some ambition.  But they won't have it--at least not without boatloads of resistance.

From your point of view, their disinterest defies all logic and reason, especially in the face of such a fast paced, competitive world.  You might find yourself admonishing them about the pointlessness of endless textual prattle over the cyber airwaves, and how they cannot expect to survive into adulthood on a regimen of starch and cola.

You have forgotten how it was when you were their age.  The technology was different, but not the carefree, distracted, and wreakless abandon of giggly youth.  Then again, perhaps you remember your misspent youth all too well, and are desperate to save them from the same tortured path.

So you craft rules and consequences to guide their way towards the golden ring, and hold them to the straight and narrow road.  You find yourself constantly and tirelessly reminding them to attend to a litany of details critical to a safe and effective launch into the outer space of adulthood.  And they, with equal fervor and resolve, counter your every move with a roll of the eyes and judiciously executed patronizing.

In final desparation you might sit them down and appeal to them.  You might start by explaining how much you want them to enjoy an adult life replete with opportunity and personal satisfaction--where they will soar like an eagle--powerful, majestic, confident, independent, and free.  You might even confess that the rules you have imposed are probably exasperating and maybe even somewhat arbitrary, and definitely not always fun--okay, never fun.  But you urge them to try to see where it is you are leading them.  You ask them to trust you because you see clearly what is ahead of them, even though they cannot.  Someday they will look back and discover all the hassle has been worth it, and it is a joy to be on the otherside and to have arrived there the best way.

I was talking with a couple of friends on different occassions, recently, who both voiced frustration with themselves in failing to do what God would want them to do.  I could relate.  Then it came to me.  God is not so interested in us obsessing on the rules--although they are important--and He certainly finds no pleasure in seeing us suffer the consequences of our disobedience.  No, God wants us to see this beautiful thing He has created and is now restoring.  He wants to capture our imaginations and show us a truly lovely, awesomely (in its truest meaning) beautiful reality we can join Him in, forever.  God is appealing to us to see His rules as guideposts to a place and state we are still too young to totally comprehend.

"Listen, my son and my daughter," He implores, "as I let you in on my thoughts and purposes.  See how wonderous and beautiful they are.  Know that behind the curtain is not a pretense, but an infinitely vast beauty.  I am infinite and what I have for you to share with me is necessarily infinite; we must walk together forever for you to apprenhend it.  Indeed, that is a part of the wonder of it: where we are going will always burst ahead of you with new vistas of endless potential and purpose. I know it's difficult; I fully understand your frustrations;  I see how easily failure can overwhelm you; it seems to be one step forward and two steps backward.  But,try to see what we are attempting to accomplish; try to glimpse the incredible beauty I have created for us to dwell together.  Yes, you will need to endure growing pains, but know I have provided for everything you will need for the arduous journey ahead.  Trust Me.  Keep looking to Me for your strength.  Seek Me to dress the wounds you will incur on yourself; I will forgive you.  Ask me to salve the injuries others shall inflict on you.  Forgive them as I have forgiven you. Depend on Me to protect you from what is really harmful.  And one day you will awaken to the most glorious, breathtaking, inexpressible beauty of all: when you perfectly share My very nature.  Think about what I am doing.  Catch the beauty!"

The hike in God's kingdom is long and daunting, as God's kingdom light slowly quenches the darkness of the current world kingdom and turns its ugliness of blacks and greys into a beuaty of vibrant colors.  See what a beautiful new world God has recreated at great cost.  Gasp in utter awe as God's kingdom beauty unfolds before you like the most colorful, resplendent flower before a dawning sun.  Catch the beauty!