I feel like, God expects me to be human. I feel like, God likes me just the way I am: broken and empty and bruised. I feel like, God doesn't look at me and wish that I were something else, because He likes me just this way. I feel like, God doesn't want me to close my eyes and pray for Him to make me holy or for Him to make me pure; because He made me human. I feel like, God already knows I'm human...it is I who needs to learn that.
The only way God can strengthen his presence in our will is to weaken his presence in our feelings. Otherwise we would become spiritual cripples, unable to walk without emotional crutches. This is why he gives us dryness, sufferings, and failures.
There is a 'movement' of meditation, expressing the basic 'paschal' rhythm of the Christian life, the passage from death to life in Christ. Sometimes prayer, meditation and contemplation are 'death' - a kind of descent into our own nothingness, a recognition of helplessness, frustration, infidelity, confusion, ignorance. Note how common this theme is in the Psalms. If we need help in meditation we can turn to scriptural texts that express this profound distress of man in his nothingness and his total need of God. Then as we determine to face the hard realities of our inner life and humbly for faith, he draws us out of darkness into light - he hears us, answers our prayer, recognizes our need, and grants us the help we require - if only by giving us more faith to believe that he can and will help us in his own time. This is already a sufficient answer.
At least one indication of unbelief is the tendency to measure life's challenges against our own adequacy instead of God's promises. To enter our Sabbath rest, we must put an end to self-reliance - trusting in our own abilities to overcome difficulties, rise above challenges, escape tragedies, or achieve personal greatness.
The sea had jeeringly kept his finite body up, but drowned the infinite of his soul. Not drowned entirely, though. Rather carried down alive to wondrous depths, where strange shapes of the unwarped primal world glided to and fro before his passive eyes; and the miser-merman, Wisdom, revealed his hoarded heaps; and among the joyous, heartless, ever-juvenile eternities, Pip saw the multitudinous, God-omnipresent, coral insects, that out of the firmament of waters heaved the colossal orbs. He saw God’s foot upon the treadle of the loom, and spoke it; and therefore his shipmates called him mad. So man’s insanity is heaven’s sense; and wandering from all mortal reason, man comes at last to that celestial thought, which, to reason, is absurd and frantic; and weal or woe, feels then uncompromised, indifferent as his God.
The unknown grayish mystifying forest was benumbed into frost-covered cold, and the tremendous pines towering above the dark marshy soil resembled a gathering of severe mute brothers from a forbidden ancient order worshiping forgotten gods no one had ever heard of outside of the world of secret occult visions.
The Buddhists say there are 149 ways to God. I'm not looking for God, only for myself, and that is far more complicated. God has had a great deal written about Him; nothing has been written about me. God is bigger, like my mother, easier to find, even in the dark. I could be anywhere, and since I can't describe myself I can't ask for help.
I was insanely jealous of Lucille. More jealous than I'd ever been of anyone in my entire life. Because she truly meant it. All I could think was, why can't I be as stupid as Lucille? Why can't I blame all my successes and all my failures on The Lord Jesus Christ Almighty? I would be so fucking happy if I lived like that.
Why the delay? Why does God let evil and pain so flagrantly exist, even thrive, on this planet?...He holds back for our sakes. Re-creation involves us; we are, in fact, at the center of his plan...the motive behind all human history, is to develop us, not God. Our very existence announces to the powers in the universe that restoration is under way. Every act of faith by every one of the people of God is like the tolling of a bell, and a faith like Job's reverberates throughout the universe.
But, of course, what mattered most of all was my deep-seated hatred of authority, my monstrous individualism, my lawlessness. No word in my vocabulary expressed deeper hatred than the word INTERFERENCE. But Christianity placed at the centre what then seemed to me a transcendental Interferer. If its picture were true then no sort of 'treaty with reality' could ever be possible. There was no region even in the innermost depth of one's soul (nay, there least of all) which one could surround with a barbed wire fence and guard with a notice No Admittance. And that was what I wanted; some area, however small, of which I could say to all other beings, 'This is my business and mine only.