of the hard lessons of maturation: you can't have
everything. No matter how good how many things may
feel, there are times when one must simply choose
one feeling and the one stimulus that brings it.
begin to know about God, he becomes one of the possible
selections when more than one feeling or stimulus
lies before us. The more we get to know him, God becomes
the (not one of) possible selection, no matter how
many other options are at hand.
It is here
that the problem posed last week becomes acute: Why
is he not more obvious? How do we know God? How does
not more obvious than he is in the sense that light
or air are not obvious; you don't know what your got
till it's gone. Thus, to choose consistently something
that is not God - the Devil would be an obvious example,
but so, too, would maximum financial profit or the
death of one's enemies -- means choosing according
to one's feelings, rather than objective reality.
Such consistent choosing gradually creates a habit
of choosing that for all intents and purposes leaves
God out of one's life. Because God is like light and
air, this means death and darkness, consistently diminished
sensitivity to or awareness of.
then, we must keep God clearly in our mind when making
God becomes a familiar person in our thinking and
our desiring, we must be reminded of him and remind
ourselves of him over and over again. This is what
churches and praying and scripture reading and a thousand
other things are for.
God be so hard? Unlike light and air, God is a person.
There are two modes of relationship to a person -
love and fear. If God is too obvious we will choose
him for fear of losing him; loving him will be impossible;
he will be forced upon our consciousness. We must
choose him as the travelling salesman chooses his
wife -- not because there is no other choice, but
because of love. But like the husband who has trained
himself to think of himself as hers, we must rain
ourselves to think of ourselves as God's. If we think
we are our own or that we are somehow owned by the
economy or our traditions or our past or our genes
preferences or some determinism or other, then we
cannot think of ourselves as his.
over, I am reminded of a phrase from the old Consecration
of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: we
are thine and thine we wish to be. The first is a
fact, the second is a choice. There is no chooser
without God. Any other choice than God is a kind of
suicide; or a real insanity.
it feel to choose God? That's a topic for next week
- and it should be a trip.
and truly yours,