Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Devil's Favorite Tool

"Just because it scares us or we don't understand it doesn't mean it isn't real."
This seems a little obvious. I mean, you may be scared of outer space, rottweilers , or taxes, but no matter how much you do not understand or are scared of these things, they are still there and no amount of pretending they aren't will make you not run into them or something regarding them from time to time. Obvious, right?
So, so then, how come we live much of the rest of our lives this way in regards to truth and beauty?

That quote is a line that stood out among all other profound thoughts expressed in my Partner in Crime's newest blog post, entitled The Ache of Beauty. In it she describes how we all experience this longing when it comes to beauty, because we were designed for ultimate beauty. But this longing scares us because we cannot understand it, so we put up walls around our hearts and hide, just like we do with many other things that scare us and threaten our minimal understanding of things.

I have talked a lot about walls over the last couple months. I've talked about how we build walls and masks around ourselves to hide who we really are, why we do these things, and how we should tear town these barriers so we can embrace who we are meant to be. I have talked about beauty and how we are scared to show our beauty to others for fear of being judged. But something I didn't realize until now was it's not just our own beauty we put a mask over but beauty in general. As Miss McCall said in her post, we turn away from beauty and put walls around our hearts so as not to feel the ache.
How many times have you read in the Bible that someone "hardened their heart" and wondered what it looked like? I think it looks a lot like this. Because the ache stems from a longing for more, a longing that we have to leave our comfortable places to pursue. And we, as humans, are oh so scared of leaving the known and the comfortable for the unknown and potentially uncomfortable. We are scared that our actions would not be worth it and that we will make a disastrous mess and fools of ourselves. We are scared because we have bought into the lie that we cannot walk on water. I mean, surely I can't be the only one who has a hard time believing that story sometimes.

But the devil works on this fear. We think he's been getting more and more creative with how he personally attacks us and tears us down, but his tactics haven't changed. Since the beginning of time, his methods have always been fear and lies, fear and lies. So why do so many people seem much more hopeless, lost, and longing for more than ever before?
It's because in the busy, who has time to seek truth?  And who would want to, really? I mean, truth disrupts our busy lives with our meetings, soccer practices, dinners, and even relaxation time planned to a T. You don't even have to look at a working adult to see this. Look at a grade schooler. From school to piano lessons to baseball games to play dates, it's no wonder kids are more stressed than ever and more and more people are growing up to never know how to appreciate beauty at all.

Jesus said we must become like a child to be able to enter His Kingdom. But with kids being scheduled more and more like adults, where has the wonder and inspiration gone? We are being introduced at younger and younger ages to lie that says you aren't important unless you are doing everything. Lies that tell us that the truth is a lie.

But this isn't the first time the devil has used our fear of the unknown to keep us from pursuing beauty and instead keep us pursuing things much less worth our hearts and souls.
In Exodus 5, Moses follows God's leading and goes to Pharaoh to ask if the Israelites can go into the desert to worship God for three days. In response to Moses' request, Pharaoh orders the slave drivers to make the work harder for the Isrealites so that "they keep working and pay no attention to lies." In the same way, our society has told us that busy is better. "Pay no attention to the truth," it says. "You must work, work, work so you can be the best."
With so many people saying this and living this way all around, it is very easy for us to slip into the same rhythm and have trouble believing truth and seeing beauty altogether.

But we must not let our fear of the unknown and the judgement of others keep us from living the lives full of wonder and beauty that we were designed to live. We must start a revolution and start breaking free from the molds we've been put in.
I challenge each of you personally to slow down and embrace beauty when you see it. Let it make your mind run wild, even if that takes you into parts of yourself you haven't explored in a while. Let yourself dream again, but don't stop there. Pursue the dreams and longing for a deeper meaning of Beauty, Love, and Truth that can only be found in the One we cannot fully comprehend.

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