28.7.15

make it right?



How you look back over the past eight months and know you’re not the same, you know how you’re changed, and it’s this: you’re no longer oblivious to the mess you are.  It’s not that you’re a worse person than you used to be – only that you can no longer brush over the brokenness with a fresh coat of paint.
And you’ve got to hear this: we’ve got to get over this being about making a life, because the making of art is always a slave to its own desire for perfection. And you have to hear this: me and you weren’t made to make ourselves a perfect life, or at least as close to perfect as we can get. It’s our every underlying motivation: get it sorted, get it figured, get it right. We clean and refurbish and refurnish. For a whole five minutes we think we’ve finally trekked through all that dark and come out whole on the other side –  and five seconds later you’re already thirty centimetres deep in this muddy pit.
You want to feel right and think right and you want to live right. You hate how you don’t do what you want to do and you do what you don’t and because the truth is, you want a good life and don’t give much more than a hurting soul about God.
We’ll do anything to make it right. Isn’t that why we aim for this and strive for that and we’ll sacrifice absolutely everything?
And you have to hear this: the reason we live isn’t to get our lives figured out.
And we don’t hear this, because we’re our own reason for living. To lay down the sorting, the figuring, the perfecting of our own lives? We may as well not live at all. That may as well be the same as dying.
To give up making sense and decency and perfection of our own lives may as well be dying to ourselves.
Jesus was eating with a bunch of self-professed messed up people when the good guys wanted to know why. And he said, “Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I am came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus’ self-professed sinners were picking out their lunch in the middle of the food on a Saturday – and the good guys told on them. And he said, “If you’d known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice’ – you wouldn’t have condemned the guiltless.”
So we go back, back to Hosea, and we learn and we know: I desire mercy, and not sacrifice – the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
And Jesus is saying it and he’s warning them, he’s begging them, he’s calling them – this is about Me. I don’t want your sorting. I don’t want your figuring. I have no desire for your strained perfection. I hate it.
It’s this: it’s rejecting a life of presenting your own offering, instead embracing a life of dependence on God.
“Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.” [Romans 8]
My burnt offering is my futile attempt to make myself right with God, my burnt offering is my futile attempt to make myself right with this world – my burnt offering is my futile attempt to make myself right with myself.
My burnt offering is my refusal of God. It's my denial of the Cross, that Jesus and blood and scarred hands didn't make me right with God.
How all those commands back in days of the Law were made with this incentive: so that you do not forget God, who brought you out of slavery. 
So that we do not forget but know.  

If I focus on making a life, I'm torn up in jealousy and anxiety and discontentment. If my attention is fixed on making a life, all that I see is myself. 

But if I'm fixated on knowing God, on God making Himself known to me and to them and to all of us --  

then I be counting all this as joy. 

1 comment:

comments are fun.