starving for substance

A Dog Returns to Vomit

Posted in Uncategorized by starvingsteve on March 10, 2011

Habakkuk 3:17-19
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.

“Stuff” happens.

There’s something about heuristics and platitudes that we like. It simplifies life and gives us an idea or story to attach to things that happen to us, leaving us with a supposedly better grasp of this complex world we ultimately fail to understand. In the end, that’s what we want. Understanding. For things to make sense. CNBC has made its owners extremely rich for doing just this. No one knows why the markets move up or why they move down, yet without fail, some talking head at the end of the day will explain exactly why the market did what it did. This is almost always baloney. If you think one person can explain something so complex as the reasons for movement in the world’s financial markets in less than two minutes, you are woefully mistaken. Especially when their might not even be a reason at all.

In the same vein, as we stumble about life, through each exhilarating high and devastating low, we yearn for understanding. Meaning. The more difficult the circumstances, the greater its “purpose” we expect it to have simply because we have an aversion to mindless suffering. Show a picture of a Nazi concentration camp or a dying malnourished African child and the immediate reaction is “Why?” Not that we don’t know the supposed empirical reasons for that tragedy, but we want to know what purpose it serves in the overall meaning of our existence. We seem to be programmed to crave meaning, to the point where we will attach it to things that have none (the movement of stars, for example).

Yet in this quest for meaning, we again and again run into events that leave us stumped. Christians will say that God gives meaning and that all things work for good but an Atheist shows human atrocity after atrocity and declares God dead. Meaning is left for the individual to determine for themselves, they become their own god. This is opening up a whole can of worms that I don’t wish to do on the internet, so I will merely say that this wraps up what became a long winded introduction.

The past few months and I guess year and a half in general have been pretty grueling. I got broken financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and it seems like the beatings don’t stop. It’s been a really rough period and I’m thankful for the people in my life that have been there for me. I know I don’t make it easy because if you’re receptive to my complaining, I just end up complaining more to you, but know that I’m thankful for you. It’s cool to have good friends.

I know I said I was done blogging here but I think there’s a couple things I learned that could be helpful to people slogging through the muck. So here we go!

Hope in the Wrong Thing Will Always Disappoint: Everything in this world we look to for happiness and security fails. Wealth, power, status, relationships, health, I haven’t tried them all but I’ve had and seen enough to start to realize how temporary these things are. As humans, we are never satisfied until we place our hope in the one thing that can satisfy us. Jesus has said that he offers living water, water from which you can drink from and never be thirsty again. When you drink from this well and go to other things you realize just how thirsty you are. The past few months have been the moment of truth for me. Do I really think a relationship with Jesus is enough? When I have no money and medical bills are quite literally flooding my mailbox, when my health is shaky (and utterly failing apparently), my job prospects are bleak, to say all I need is God seems delusional. And I guess this is where faith comes into play. If this is what I say I believe, then this is the leap I have to make. Objectively, this looks stupid. Inwardly, I have to agree. Oh ye of little faith…

Pride Kills: Humility is a bitter bitter bitter pill to swallow, and I admit I have none of it. Yet living life without humility is like running a marathon with no legs. You might finish, but holy crap will it suck. Unlike a marathon, humility isn’t exactly something you can set out to attain, it usually ends up being something beaten into you. Repeatedly. I guess by that example, learning humility is closer to rape than anything else. Horribly insensitive analogies aside, you have to be ready to learn. Unfortunately, the proud don’t think they have anything to learn. It is entirely possible for this vicious cycle to repeat ad nauseum.

Be Thankful: This is the most practical piece of advice I have ever received. Every day, be thankful. Thank God for everything you have and give your best at everything you have to do. If you’re not thankful now, you won’t be thankful later when you have _________ (whatever you want right now). Don’t be thankful because your life isn’t like ___________ (some person) in ___________ (some third world country), but be thankful because if God is who He is, then you are exactly where you need to be. No matter how much I don’t believe this, truth is truth. As an application, I started this (photo)blog for kicks and giggles.

I need to sleep now but I”ll finish this up tomorrow.

One Response

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  1. Fei said, on March 13, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    yes i feel like i’ll be learning the lesson of humility the rest of my life………… pwned in the face. anyway, i like your tumblr idea and will be following!

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