Monday, 26 January 2009

Just For Today...

I am in the middle of Massive Faith Crisis #234534. It's one of the deeper, more long lasting ones of its kind. It has been triggered off partly by some current painful events, partly by the same old unresolved things which crouch and wait to bite me on the arse again purely to compound new things, and partly by the inexplicable crap I observe in the lives of people I love.

It is largely fuelled along by that 3 letter word which is ubiquitous inside the walls of my skull, and behaves a bit like an itch deep inside the unreacheable depths of a plaster cast, which no ruler or other long slim tool can ever seem to reach: Why.

Last night I read this in an otherwise toecurlingly annoying book which I am too embarrassed to admit the title of. It is noteworthy that the following is a quotation from someone else:
"If you belive God is obligated to explain Himself to us, you ought to examine the Scripture...[It] tells us we lack the capacity to grasp God's infinite mind or the way He intervenes in our lives. How arrogant of us to think otherwise! Trying to anyalyze His omnipotence is like an amoeba attempting to comprehend the behaviour* of man."
To illustrate his point he directs us to Sciptures such as these:
"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter."
"The secret things belong to the LORD our God."
"As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understnad the work of God, the Maker of all things."
"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'"
...What this that many of our questions - especially those that begin wht the word why - will have to remain unanswered for the time being."

I find this utterly unsatisfactory. I hate not getting what I want, especially when what I want is answers. So in the shower this morning I said Angry Ranting Prayer #1089610596810652, expressing this.

If I was a charismatic Christian I would say: And God answered by saying 'Just for today, trust Me'.
If I was not a charismatic Christian** I would say: And after I had finished praying I rememberd the film I had watched last night, "Things We Lost in the Fire". It was quite an unremarkable film, but it featured Narcotics Anonnymous meetings. One of the things that members of NA, AA or GA famously say is "Just for today: I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle all my problems at once." followed by lots of other 'Just for todays'.

I have no idea what it's like to be driven by the physical desire for a chemical fix, but I do know that part of what makes these times so torturous for me, is the constant pressing and fingering in my head of the whys and whatifs. I feel as if I'll never get any peace unless I get a resolution for them. In the past I have always felt I have found answers and was surrounded by people who had enough certainty to keep me going. Now that this is no longer true, that lack of resolution threatens to drive me in directions I never thought I would or could go, just to get some peace. The guy in the film said he had a recurring dream of having a bag of junk in one hand and money for his next fix in the other, which gave him a feeling of perfect peace. But he was saying this at the NA meeting, because he had chosen not to go down that route, but instead, 'Just for today...'

So just for today, instead of choosing my own kind of bag of junk, I will say that Jesus is real, Jesus is Lord, and Jesus is right.

"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
John 6:67-69.

*American spellings corrected.
**Come on, you don't expect me to know what kind of Christian I am at this point do you?


Kath said...

yeah, that's pretty much it right.
just for today, cos that's all we've got, just for today.

Pretty much not a lot I can write here, other than I get it and wanting sharing my tiny bit of faith with you right now, think God likes that kind of sharing.

love you binfaced one.

becci brown said...

Love you.

And I think you're right. Don't beat yourself up or feel guilty that its 'just' for today. Little cracks of hope and little fingers holding on are more than 'just'

Anonymous said...

looks like someone is deconverting!

OddBabble said...

I think you're rather missing the point actually 'Anonymous'.

Doubt and questioning, even angry, tearful questioning, are a normal part of authentic faith. I am in good company with many of the psalmists in praying these kinds of prayers.

The point, rather, is in the last couple of lines of this post. I put the quote from John 6 there because even in the midst of all this, I am still convinced that Jesus is 'the holy one of God' and that therefore there is nothing and no-one else that I can turn to. If this were not the case, I would not go through the effort of daily choosing him.


Daniel Hames said...

This is a comfort to me so often:

'We find we have nothing at all to hang on to but the bare truth of God's word, which we scarcely feel we believe, and indeed we mostly feel we don’t believe. And the only comfort is that this word is true, despite our desperately inadequate faith. Let God be true and every man a liar—including myself. Let me recognize as clearly as I may that my own heart is full of lies and unbelief; nonetheless God speaks the truth. That I can believe, even when I don't believe I believe.'