Tuesday, May 10, 2005

not that i make it a point to quote paris hilton, but...

yes, i'm going to. it'll come, just wait.

a constant battle...

ego vs. Holy Spirit
self vs. God

any wise believer can look at those odds and in a second determine the winner. but some days i choose to align myself with the losing side.

case in point - sunday night i linked arms with my ego and made myself comfortable in self-pity. i sank into my couch and mulled over the thoughts swarming through my head, getting ready to do battle aginst the One who never loses. the battleground was this statement:

"Singles, the way for you to be fruitful and multiply is through evangelism."

ok, i know that to many people the above statement gave them peace, a sense of understanding, a realization of sorts. not me. in all honesty, i was angry. i felt slighted. wronged. i wanted to stand up and shout, "what the heck? that's your answer? Unfair!" it just seemed too simplistic to me; a pat-on-the-back easy answer to satisfy the elephant-in-the-room question that so many had. why? because everyone is commanded to produce spiritual offspring through evangelism, right? how is it that evangelism is my "substitute" for marriage and children when those who are married with children also get it too? it felt like i was getting either/or, while they get both/and. round one of self.

i think Rob hit it exactly right when he said this: "our culture has elevated an act of sexuality to the point of defining us." and that we "deify sex." if i may be so bold i will add on that we deify romantic relationships in general, sex being a progression of the former. i have lived for 28 years being conditioned to believe just this. it's so difficult to divorce myself not only from the conditioning of my culture, but from even my Christian brothers and sisters who, although well intentioned and often full of joy, have made statements to the effect of the following: "once i experienced the birth of my child, i had a deeper understanding of God, an understanding i just couldn't grasp before becoming a father/mother." it sounds beautiful, but let's hope this isn't true. for if it is, than how is a single person ever to reach that "deeper understanding ungraspable" without being a parent? it's so difficult to hear things like this and not feel as though on a "lower plain" of understanding. we live in a culture that elevates relationships to the status of completion. here's the paris hilton quote: "i want to have kids in the next two years because i know that completes your life." no lie. that is what she said. and i venture to say that whether they'd admit it or not, many people would agree. it's hard not to buy into the thought that this world is about searching for that someone, and when you find them, success!

because marriage is seemingly placed on a pedastal above singleness, i find myself thinking that the worship experience and outcome of sex in a godly marriage is somehow higher on the ladder than glorifying Him through song, or prayer, or evangelism. and i in my self-pity thought, "i may never be able to experience God and worship Him like this...boo-hoo...Unfair!"

and a voice spoke to my heart that said, "since when is one person's worship better than another? or one type of worship higher than another, amanda?
is not worship based on the heart, not matter how it is expressed? and you speak of unfairness...there is a man who longs to dance for joy and worship Me as david did, but he is in a wheelchair. is it fair? there is a woman who hears how sunsets display My spleandor and show my artistic side - but she doesn't know what they look like, for she is blind. is it fair? there was a king who was beaten and hung on a cross for those who think mostly of themselves. of which you are one. He died in place of you. is it fair? but even so, I have given countless ways for you to worship - many that you don't even take advantage of...and yet you long for the one way I have not given you."

how like a child am i - having millions of toys, yet longing for that which she sees others have. have i been faithful in worshipping with what i have? if not, how can i even begin to call out, "unfair" when i see what others have that God has not seen fit to give me? and when i think of His return, or the day i shall stand before Him in His glory, awaiting His perfect judgement of the life lived, none shall stand there with husband or wife.

alone with Christ.
all will be single.

Isaiah 65:17 - "For behold, I create a new heavens and a new earth. and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind."

as beautiful a gift that godly earthly marriages are, they will not be remembered or come to mind. no pedastal. only Christ.


Ian said...

"Singles, the way for you to be fruitful and multiply is through evangelism."

Yeah, I didn't think that was a good answer either.

I think I've stopped buying all the crap about "being content in your singleness," too. Adam had perfect fellowship with God, a beautiful home, work he (I'm assuming) enjoyed... no problems. But, God still said things weren't complete.

He didn't give Adam a bunch of people to witness to or a longer quiet time, he gave him a woman. I don't think we feel a longing to be with someone because our culture has brainwashed us into it, I think we feel it because God created us to be with someone. "It is not good for man to be alone."

Schmanda said...

agreed. God said it is not good for man to be alone. i and do think that longing is part of the way we are from God. i mean, God Himself wasn't alone. He exists in the Trinity. but what i'm saying is that just because the longing is due to the way God intended us to be, doesn't mean that it will be satisfied here. God intends a lot of things, that our choices have gotten in the way of. alot of well-meaning people will say lines to the effect of "when you're content in your singleness, that always seems to be when God brings you a partner". as if there's some formula to be reached, then God will satisfy you. sorry, God doesn't need to do anything for us. including satisfy longings He Himself placed there. maybe it's unfair - some have in this world and some have not. (i'm talking about anything, not just relationships) point is, i can either choose to long and desire that which i may never have, or i can worship in all the ways He has already given me.

chad o said...

i'm completely blown away...you've earned yourself an extra-awkwardly awkward hug and maybe even an awkward handshake. i only cat for you these days, shmanda. i commend you for your honesty in this post...stunning vulnerability...and i find much to agree with...and i can relate in a lot of ways. crazy cool medallions

neil said...

ravi z. said: "i'm thoroughly convinced that if God had given us a thousand ways to get to Him, we would want a thousand and one." so true. you continually push me to check everything i thought i knew at the door - thanks.

KT said...

I couldn't have stated it better. Well done!