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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Monday, August 24, 2009

The In Between

In the beginning God...... a very easy line to understand. God as defined would create the beginning. The end is Come Lord Jesus!!!! Once again, easily understood. It is what's in between the beginning and the end that gets all muddled and discombobulated. We have a starting point, and we know how the ending is supposed to go, just seem to find so many wrong turns and obstacles that keep the journey from being steadily pursued, at least in my case. I have been reading Larry Crabb's book *Inside Out* about personal transformation. A very good book with a lot of wise insight and understanding. He makes the point that alot of us will not experience deep lifechanging results because we lack the willingness to face and confront the pain that stands in the way. Self-protection is an antithesis to love and as much as we choose the former as opposed to the latter, then we will fail to accomplish deep change.

On a forum i like to participate on, i asked a question about the interrelationship between thought/feeling/faith. Can they exist apart from one another??? For me, feelings have tended to be the starting point when it comes to fear. In high school one time I had smoked pot with a few friends. Thankfully i didn't do it many times lol As Iwalked home, i felt my heart begin to beat faster,which caused me to fear i might have a heart attack or something. i started to run home,which made my heart beat even faster and my mind more anxious. I somehow laid down and was able to calm myself and fall asleep. The effects of the pot gradually went away. Anytime i have felt a change in my body that somehow feels foreign or threatening in anyway, my thoughts race rapidly into fear of the worst happening. I try to focus on God and prayer, but mostly i freeze in fear and just hope i don't die. That has been my experience of dealing with the onset of feelings and how thoughts and faith interreact.

As i said in previous post, my grandma modeled fear and anxiousness before me. i also saw a lot of scary movies which were too graphic for my sensitivity level and imagination. i think these instances played a big role in my response of fear to pain and any kind of discomfort aswell as the notion of death. It was accepted that my dad went to heaven when he died as my family and extended family were catholic, but it wasn't talked about or discussed really. I recieved instruction in catechism about God, but it was in a culture/rote response type way as opposed to a relationship with God through Jesus and His Word. I say this as a reflection on my own experience, not to judge anyone or Catholicism in any way.

i have sought self-protection as a way to handle lifes difficulties alot of the time. I have been able to have a good level of self-awareness and vulnerability, as well as compassion and genuine desire to help and care about people. I have had an extreme self-centeredness as well though, in that i have locked myself up internally anytime the threat of deep pain or suffering came my way,except for when i actually had something bad happen like the croup,pneumonia or my heart troubles. For some reason, i can handle the worst thing better than smaller things which may lead to the worst, at least in my imagination. i am learning in a more personal way to let go of self-protection and let love reign. Jesus is always present and accepting me in love, even when i am hurting and struggling, be it physically or emotionally. I have known that intellectually a long long time. i have known it experientially as well, but have so often felt unable to let the reality of His presence flow between the intellect to the emotions freely. Recent events have helped that to happen a lil more. Learning that He is much more patient than i am or ever will be as well.

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