Friday, October 2, 2015

Stuck In a Glass Maze World

About a year ago, I had the fun opportunity to spend a day with some friends at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Not only is the museum itself huge, with multiple levels (including some underground levels), containing art from various time periods, cultures, and places, but the grounds are also filled with many modern sculptures. During this particular trip to the Nelson, my friends and I decided to wander the grounds in search of the giant metal tree that we heard had been added earlier that year. On our search, we came across a curious addition I had never seen before. Standing just down hill from the monstrous and beautiful silver tree was a glass maze. While not very big, the maze was still easy to get turned around in. With the glass kept amazingly clean, it wasn't hard to miss a turn and accidentally run into the opposite wall or get turned around and pass a needed turn to reach the maze's center (especially if you didn't want to look like a fool by bumping into walls over and over again).

I think in much the same way, we let ourselves get trapped by what we're told and the lies we tell ourselves. Lies like: I'm not good enough. 
I'm not smart enough. 
I'm not attractive enough. 
I'm too young. 
I'm too old. 
I have nothing to say, nothing to offer, and no where to go. 
I'll. Never. Amount. To. Anything.
"ENOUGH! Enough with the lies!" I want to scream, but if you're alive and breathing in the twenty-first century, especially twenty-first century America with its image saturated culture, you know that thoughts like these, or at least thoughts very similar to these, pop up everywhere.
But these lies trap us in the same way the glass maze traps us. For we can see outside the maze, we can see life going on beyond the glass, we can even communicate with those on the outside, but we cannot hear them clearly through the glass. We can't really connect. Or at least not the way our hearts long to connect.
These lies keep us stuck behind this glass with no true connection, making us feel isolated, even when surrounded by those who love and care about us. And when we finally get fed up with feeling this way, we start to look for a way out. But just like with the glass maze, we are too embarrassed by our insecurities. We won't let ourselves bump into the walls, even if it will help us find the right path sooner, because we don't want those around us to know that we feel trapped. We don't want them to see it. In doing so, we hide even more, further trapping ourselves and maintaining that we never connect with anyone.

As usual, I want to take this even further. I want to look into why we believe these lies about ourselves in the first place. I've learned in recent months that these glass walls that keep me feeling isolated are created by lies I've come to believe about myself. Sadly, many never realize this, because our enemy is crafty. He has mastered the art of lies, spinning them until they look like truths we can't easily dismiss.
But why are these lies so appealing if they make us feel so horrible about ourselves? I think it all comes down to who we think we are and who we think God is.
The day I started to tear down these lies is the day I realized that if God is who I think He is, then my image of myself  did not align with what I believed. If God is loving, compassionate, creative, and all powerful, and he made me in His image, then shouldn't I, as a follower of Him, be more than capable to do great things?
I mean, this logic makes sense, doesn't it? Then how come this isn't the logic used by many of us? What I think it all roots back to is what we think of God. If you're like me and you believe Him to truly be the Lover of your soul, then this logic isn't hard to follow. But how many people really believe Him to be these things?

My mom recently told me about a children's storybook bible she heard about where the author, having to summarize things to make sense to little kids, summarized all the lies that the serpent told Eve in Genesis 3 with one doubt instilling question, "Does God really love you?"
Well? Does He?
If you aren't sure on that, then I can tell you from personal past experience that you aren't going to have an easy time breaking down those lies.