Friday, June 20, 2014

Standing on the Truth

Have you ever seen "American Ninja Warrior"?

I was talking with a friend of mine yesterday and she asked me if I watched any particular tv shows.  My honest answer was "no" (I tend to avoid tv.) I was, however, with my sister and brother in law the other day and we were watching American Ninja Warrior - or something like that.  I liked it because its about Americans acting like Ninja Warriors (hence the name.)  Contestants go through physically challenging obstacle courses all for the sake of hitting the red button at the end which means "All done!"

It must be a good feeling hitting that red button.  

However, in this episode of "American Ninja Warrior" in order to hit that red button you had to make it through a particular obstacle which I will call "The Unstable Springy Things."  It was a series of springy things which had rounded tops each with its own unpredictable level of instability.  Some people fell off when they hit those Unstable Springy Things - others did not (kudos to them.)

Life can be pretty unstable sometimes.

"Finally, the point!"

Yes, faithful blog reader - here comes the point.  It's a stable point.

Life can be pretty unstable sometimes.  At least it can seem and feel unstable.  For the Christian, however, how things seem to be are not necessarily how things are.  

"What do you mean, Matt?"

I mean that we're not always very good at attaching ourselves to reality.  The experience of our current life may feel unstable, unpredictable, or as if we have no direction (like a train which is moving along some tracks only to continue on into a field after having the tracks removed.  Things can certainly feel that way but the reality may be something all together.  

God is the rock which our lives are founded on.  His revealed truth, especially given through Sacred Scripture, is the stable point which our lives rest upon - if we let it rest there.  How things feel or seem to us can at times not at all be the true reality.  

The true reality of our lives is not what we feel it is but it is what God says it is and He invites us to live in that reality rather than from our mere feelings.  Don't get me wrong - feeling ARE important.  If we're down in the dumps or confused about what direction our lives should take then we should take that seriously by bringing it to prayer and seeking wise counsel from others.  However, in seeking peace with our situation what are we seeking if not but to accept reality as God sees it?

In other words, peace is found when we say yes to reality.  As fallen and wounded human beings (redeemed, yes, but still in a long process of healing) we are very good at not trusting that God really does have everything under control, that he really does have our best interests at heart.  The key to searching for and maintaining peace is accepting reality according to God's point of view.  This can be a painful process at times because we are very attached to our own ways of seeing things.  

The truth is, though, that God really does have a wonderful plan for each of our lives and desires to "ween us off" our own vision of things so that He can give us His light.  We've been stuck in the dark in a lot of ways - which is very unstable -but God wants to illumine our hearts and minds to what is really going on. Life, from God's point of view, is not like "American Ninja Warrior" (even if we may feel like we're standing in a very unstable spot!)  He holds us in the palm of His hand - we're safe there, we are stable.  He knows what he is about.

"For I know the plans I have for you.  Plans for welfare and not for woe; to give you a future full of hope." - Jeremiah 29:11 

"God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments. Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about." - John Henry Cardinal Newman  

He knows what He is about.  You can trust Him.