Brilliance is no component of the sinner; genius cannot be liberated except the heart be unleashed before it.
But, how can the heart be unleashed? Is it by freeing yourself from all your physical bindings and personal accountability? Is it something we can achieve by ourselves? Is it the work of self-exploration or religious commitment?
For most of us the first way (self-exploration) sounds far more fun and exciting than the latter (religious commitment). But, I don’t know why we would think that — unless we have an extremely stilted view of what religion (or living out one’s spiritual persuasion) includes.
Everything that we do is an element of religion — it is either man-made or God-made. The first is something to do that also makes us feel good about ourselves in a surfacey way, and the second is that process of releasing our souls from what prevents us from experiencing and sharing brilliance, even having genius.
We can do any part of nothing that we want to without God, but no part of everything.
When a family goes through struggles–even when it seems to be centered on the shortcomings or burdens of only one person in it–the unit is compressed and made more efficient and effective in its mission. Pressure on every one must present the possibility for every one to become a better member of that family, a better contributor to society and a better-engineered person.
The lessons taught in the context of familial adversity are never forgotten and have no end of application in our later lives. They mold us into who we become and raise examples in each of us for the others.
Here we learn to love like we would never need to if brought up in any lesser institution. Working together is also important not just for virtue but practical provision and advancement of the whole family.
I don’t know about you, but I have not always loved my family this way, or seen the advantages of living together in so tight a binding. I wanted to avoid the whole thing because there was pain here. I was unwilling to face it, so I tried to get away from all of it–the pain and the pleasure.
I thought I could find peace in other places–places where I had to work with less people, different people. I wanted new experiences that I could choose between and be in charge of myself. I thought I had better ways for how I should live than I had already seen. What God had for me felt like a vineyard that would always be ripe with the fruits of self-pity.
Family only works when family works together to make family work. It is not waiting for everyone else to come together, but investing our efforts in everyone we would normally insist invest in us first. That is why it is so good for me. It crushes my grapes–which I would normally turn into implements of wrath–and lets the juice nourish and serve my house-mates.
Community among believers must be one of the greatest aspects of our inheritance in Christ! Yet, it is not one of the things that I find it easy to embrace; instead, I resist its integration in my life with all my might.
Being closer with the Body of Christ and letting fellowship create an intersection between other parts of the Body and my part is something I really struggle with. I wish I could be really close with Christ and not have to also care about that intimacy translating over to other people who have Christ within them.
I would like to be alone, set apart from the world and people in such a way that I don’t have to do relationships. It bothers me so much that this isn’t God’s way.
After all, I always thought it was safer and more fruitful to have a life limited to just “me and Jesus”. I didn’t know (as a conviction in my heart) that I wasn’t getting the whole Jesus-package, and He wasn’t getting the whole me-package, if we weren’t being connected through His other followers.
I don’t like integrating with His other followers. For one thing, they’re not enough like Him to make me feel comfortable. For another thing, they will discover that I’m not enough like Him to make them always feel delighted to be in my presence! That, forgive me, is scary business!
So what motivation can I have to move forward with something that assaults my natural instincts for survival and success? Well, certainly none of it can come from me! God, do You think You could help here, I pray, I’ve got nothing. Worse still, I’m not even sure I want to have motivation for this. I would much rather pretend it’s no big deal. But because You are persistently making it a big deal, I really can’t ignore it. So, do what You want to do with me here. I know that I will praise You in the end when I discover in new and incredible ways that Your desires are best for me. You will make me see that You alone are what is True and Beautiful and Eternal.