Saturday, January 21, 2006

Stopping the Onslaught

I recently had a conversation with a good friend about the madness of life. Or rather, that madness that often comes upon life, especially here in the go-go-go do-do-do culture of the United States. You know what I mean--it's when too many things are coming at you at once, sometimes even too many good things, but usually it's a mix of both good and bad (or, at the very least, annoying), and your whole world begins to feel like a barrage of bullets heading straight for your heart. Life yells in your ears, something like this: Handle this now, right here, see? It's critical; and while you're at it, put out that fire over there, solve your relationship problem with your spouse, get on that treadmill, find a way to stop spending so much dang money, pay off the debt, sleep more, get the car repaired, find time for a spiritual life of some sort, play with your kids, for God's sake, you know they're going to be scarred if you don't stop pushing them off, work more or be left behind or worse, laid off, get a plan, you're just spinning your wheels, stop going so fast, but don't let anything drop, you can't let anything drop, ever...that would be failure; you would be a failure...

I could go on, of course, but you've heard the same song. There's no way out of it, right? It's just life, and you have to handle it as best you can.

But what if there is a way out...another way of walking through life that actually worked AND was life-giving to your heart? Impossible?


Think of Neo in the Matrix, in that final scene where he steps fully into his power over the illusory world. What gave Neo the power to stop the bullets?

Heart and Faith. The belief that the Matrix wasn't as real or critical or life-threatening as it claimed to be. The belief that there was a greater reality--a true reality--that could overrule the Matrix and bend it to its will. The belief that all you had to do to wield the authority of that greater reality was to entrust yourself to it.

People give all this lip service to the value of living from your heart; but most of the time they don't mean it, because it doesn't ever translate into any measurable shift in the way they live. Don't kid yourself: You live what you believe. Everybody does. If you want to know what you believe works in life, what you really believe has authority and power, then just look at the way you live. If someone observed your life looking for your top beliefs regarding life and reality, what would they find?

Most people don't live from their heart because deep down they don't really believe it works. But what if does? What if living from the heart was key to breaking free, both in this life and the next? What if you are Neo, and I am Morpheus...and right now, I'm asking you to take the red pill, and see just how deep the rabbit hole really goes.

Follow your heart. Posted by Picasa


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Zurigirl said...

*I found your blog via your website, which I found in Christian Singles October 2005 with your article "A Lifestyle of Devotion"

"... that madness that often comes upon life, especially here in the go-go-go do-do-do culture of the United States. "

This is an apt way to describe the pace we set for ourselves these days.

One of the greatest joys of surrendering to God's Will is the gentle transformation of our hearts which leads to truly to "a Peace which surpasseth all understanding." When we acknowledge in our hearts that God is in control, when we strive to live as Christ commands, everything in this whirl we call life slows down to its proper pace.

I think the only way to really know ourselves is through Christ. In order to know Him we must fall in pace with Him and quit trying to keep pace with everything going on around us. When we make time for Him, we are finally able to make authentic time for ourselves and others through the peace He gives us.

It is impossible for us to have peace in our lives when we live in a state of constant fragmentation. Fragmentation because we are so stressed and busy, because our moods change on a daily basis leading to inconsistencies in how we behave and treat others. Inconsistency of our behavior provides an inconsistent understanding of who we are because every day, or week, we are a slightly "different person."

Without God as the anchor in our lives, without following the clear path and direction that Christ has set for us, we will always be chasing our own understanding of ourselves. If nothing else, this is eminently frustrating and persistently stressful.

Peace is knowing who we are and who we are meant to be. Knowing who we are and who we are meant to be is achievable only through knowing Christ and living as He commands. It is this that will allow us to be consistent in our behavior, meaning we are "meeting the same person every day" as we go through our days. Knowing Christ means slowing down and making time for Him. Once we do this, everything falls into place with perfect and beautiful choreography and we can meander through our days rather than dart about pell-mell.

Another comment: I liked that you included a quote by Ayn Rand on your site. Although she adhered to her Objectivist philosophy, she remains one of my favorite writers, primarily because of The Fountainhead.