Wednesday, October 24, 2007

again, Others

The hint I gave in my last posting in regards to De Roulet's book "Finding Your Plot in a Plotless World" was a lousy cover up. I mentioned that God wants me to look around myself and not at myself. By doing so, I look at others. I realize that after you look at God long enough, as I have my entire life being raised a churchgoer, eventually He starts nudging at you, with a body motion that snaps the head with raised eyebrows, and while standing, motions you towards something other than Him. That is why Christ gave us the second greatest commandment after the first, because some had been doing a rather good job at only focusing on God and not others.

By the time he ends the book, De Roulet has fixated the reader from "what now do I do with God and myself" to "what now do I do with God and others?" Through some wonderful illustrations De Roulet makes clear that in the times of little to no hope, or not to even go that far but simply the mundane, helping others will help us and please God. It's that sort of blessing, which really all are, that come when we don't want them. They come because we have served, we have given up on our trivial endeavours and moved towards helping other's trivial endeavours become golden dreams.

Now after saying all that and having read the whole book, the cure to the plotlessness of life is something that I'm terrible at. I'm a very inward person, I'd go as far at to say depressed, as kind as to say mildly content. Somebody's else's mess is something I'd rather stand away from. Unfortunately so are their joys. It has been historically hard for me to connect socially with other people because I'm uptight and afraid of condemnation. Again, over the joyous things, not just the tough stuff.

A good amount of that has changed. That's that maturing thing again. But the flesh I was dealt with remains. I do listen to people more, I do engage with more people than I have before, but I feel as though I'm contributing to more plotlessness and less resolve in other's lives. Maybe it is because I have not gotten deep enough with enough people to come along side and help them. Maybe because it is because I have backed off when the issue is right in front of me. Maybe it is because I have suppressed myself and have not given all of it away.

Quite frankly, its hard to reach out and be vulnerable. It is not something we do everyday. We don't start conversations "Hey Chuck, I was thinking, why do I feel so down all the time, you know!?" and then Chuck, even rarer, responds "Well, come to think of it, I'm bubbly all the time, but I force it out through my teeth because my dad yells at me all the time!" Those are real problems, sins, and taboo to talk about.

We can pray and pray to God, while the whole time He is nudging us the answer; "look around you, not at you, I've answered you with a friend that you won't talk with. A person you won't open up to. An image of Me that you would not even suspect." And we will be helped when we help another.

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