Being a sinner, I am wont to visit old haunts better left alone. I paid one such visit last night, and it was a visit that did no one any good. I left the path of prayer and faith to visit the familiar world of thwarted plans, frustrations, and old hurts. It was a world of illusion and deception because it’s where I become my god, and I overwrite His decrees. Where I break free from Truth, and breathe my interpretation of how events should have turned out.
It is a place where I think I can both have God and be my own God. Where there is no necessary waiting, and maturing is fast tracked. Where prayers and good deeds tumble through a temporal vending machine, and yield instant results that generate happiness and satisfaction. This world I tread from time to time has clouds, but they do not linger for long, for I am, sadly, not one for the long haul of trial and tribulation.
In this overcast space a breath away from reality, I go back to old hurts and broken dreams with a menacing determination – to will a path different from Heaven’s, because I have trouble conforming to the Will of God in what has transpired. It is where I tinker with consequences and write a different ending, always immediately vindicated, triumphant and tearless. Mistakes, if any, are quickly righted with no blighted endings. In this Son-less place, I have conquered all my demons, and I am all perfect and all-knowing, the beginning and end of Wisdom.
But this place I should never darken lies in the eternal shadow of fallacy and illusion. The only reality it boasts of is the bitterness of past pains. Here, sorrows from times gone by do not heal, because the remedy – recourse to God – is shunned. Here, sorrow is papered over. There is no real maturing of faith, because there is no real god, save the God of I.
The God of I reacts with revulsion to long years of trials and tribulations, seeing the mercy of the true God too daunting a journey to undertake to seek. The God of I sees no merit in suffering, disappointment and loss, which is why it seeks to hasten a soul’s journey to assumed perfection by shortcuts and deception. By a re-configuring of painful but necessary Truths, the God of I leads me, and too many others, away from the Heaven of the Cross.
The gold of the world of I is mere dross, but it is powerful in its enticement because we believe in the illusions it projects – that suffering is wrong and must be cut short. That in sorrow, it is our solution, not God’s, that is best.
That God needs to be told what to do.
In this world where we are gods, the “I” eclipses everything else. We stubbornly persist in worship of ourselves – our opinions, our plans, the way we want to live life, because it seems foolish to place our lives in the hands of a God who asks that we give up materialism, selfishness, pride, unforgiveness. Because with our intelligence and talents, it seems utterly stupid to yield to humility and to ask for the grace of being small and forgotten in order to See the Truth.
It doesn’t make sense at all.
And yet, there comes a point in almost every life, where the two worlds can and must no longer be straddled. When the choice must be made between life in the world God wants us to live in, and the world where we make gods of ourselves. One shrouded in mists. The other a burst of lurid, wanton colours.
In the world of the God of I, happiness and satiation are easily achieved, yet, they sour as quickly, into emptiness and desolation. The suspect incense of every plan and plotting rises seemingly swiftly, but sinks even more rapidly in the quicksand of rejection and idolatry, because the true God is shunned.
In the world willed by God, there is blood and grief, but for every sorrow, there are diamonds of silverpure joy, woven together by threads of obedience, humility and joyful suffering, into the Crown of Life that awaits us at the end of the road.
Two choices. The sorrow of now followed by the joy of the next life. Or, the satiation by the present, ending with eternal death.
We cannot have them both. It is time to decide.