PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

 

Stray thoughts


(34th reflection?)

Been busy lately with part-time work. I am thankful but made incoherent by tiredness. Here are just some of the stray thoughts I've been having that I hope are expandable into brief essays.

***

Am I doing God's will, here and now, responding to his call? That's all that matters for now. If God is happy with me, then I have no reason to fret. Never mind the world's expectations.

***

I realize that even God can be reduced into an idol, or a false divinity. God can be fashioned into a god if we are not careful. In my own circle, the charismatic Catholics, neurotic types are especially susceptible, for charismatism can easily be used as an escape hatch or a handy cover when life throws a curved ball. When life seems unfair, when bad things happen to good people, when we find ourselves down in the dumps despite all our efforts at following God, God can easily be used into another drug for that narcotic high.

What if God tells us: You need to suffer. You need to go through pain. You need spiritual surgery. You need to grieve over your loss for a considerable period. Who are we to say no?

But if we think about it, we may often do so, saying no, if we use our religion as a tool for denial.

***

Thankfully, God is not a user like us, as a friend aptly puts it. He is a non-neurotic personality, non-manipulative, and certainly no codependent. God is not a drug addict. God is not a drug pusher. What else God is not? We can only look at our own weaknesses.

***

So maybe I could be forgiven if I think along these lines, if I agonize sometimes: I am so lonely. So upset. I never imagined life would turn out this way. So all alone and worse having nothing. Maybe I am punished. Or maybe this is God's odd way of telling me I am loved. Whatever it is, I am afraid. Afraid of what I don't know, of uncertainty.

What if God indeed is punishing me for some past sin -- what now? What does that make of God? What do I make of God? Do I revert to the old tired cliches that have long been disproven, i.e., God is a policeman, ever-watchful of my faults, God is a punisher, yada-yada...

So what if He punishes so long as He punishes only those whom he loves? I just hope I can take the lashes.

(I didn't write that to elicit pity.)

Now that I let that out in the open, am I all the better for it? (Is that correct English?)

***

The trick -- I have learned in my years of melancholia -- is to be sad without going down Despair Road, for it surely means clinical depression. I have learned to abide by the wisdom of going sad while having faith, which essentially means not losing hope.

(Look, this is not about trying to be positive -- it won't work in this case.)

***

This post should make up for my backlog. This constitutes Reflection #35 as well.

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