Sunday, October 16, 2005

alive

Last week, I finished reading Manalive by G. K. Chesterton. How appropriate to read it at this time of year, as the weather gets colder and the leaves begin to change. The seasons are not exactly a new thing to me, but these kinds of seasons are: where the whole world seems to go to sleep until you begin to fear that it will never awake, but stay white and barren forever. But I'm coming to love this time of year. There is a peace in these cool autumn rains that cannot be found in all the glory of the thick summer air. It is the peace of a world that knows this sleep, this little death, will bring it to another life, so much fuller than what it now has. It is because of this knowledge that it prepares eagerly for the cold, arraying itself in a robe of reds and browns.

And what about me? Am I preparing for my winter? After all, whoever loses his life will save it. I know that whatever I seek I must ultimately give to God. Perhaps He will give it back to me. Perhaps He will not. If I hold on to it longer than I ought, though, it will lose its proper meaning for me. It is only by my willingness to surrender it that I can give it its proper place in my life. This is especially true of the people in my life; it is in the times when I am holding most tightly to someone that I am most likely to try and fit them into my mold - to believe that I know what's best for them - which mostly turns out to be what's most convenient or pleasing to me. Is that love? Of course not. To treat them with the proper respect, I must accept them exactly as they are, just as God has done for me. It is then that we will be in the proper place, and our relationship will be filled with peace.

In the same way, I must learn to accept myself as I am. Lately, I have been feeling bad about certain misspoken words, situations that I didn't handle well, and other little daily mis-steps. In some ways, it can be so easy to try to "save" my own life. I deny my wrongdoing, trying to forget that I have failed in some way. Alternately, I start wallowing in self-pity about the consequences of my actions and what a "bad person" I am. I must let go of both these things. I can accept with peace the consequences of my actions, because they will bring me growth. It is God's will that I seek - not even my own perfection, but only to do His will more perfectly each day. It is then that I will find myself each day more alive.

1 comment:

R said...

It's been a while since I last visited. I learned that I wasn't as sensitive and careful as I thought I was. You didn't misspoke. I guess nobody really did, except Google. (I honestly have certain misgivings about Google's increasingly muscular approach.) I enjoy your posts, as always.