Sunday, October 12, 2014
teacups and dragons
This week has been characterized by a growing awareness of my crippling self-centeredness. My rest and renewal has relied on routines and rituals rather than the person of Christ. To my great shame I have grown to the place where cup of tea provides more comfort than a psalm, a meal more enjoyment than prayer, and a clean house more peace than the presence of God. I don't entirely blame myself, though. When years of praying and seeking after holiness were answered with loss and pain, pressing further in is not instinctual. There is certainly more safety in my teacup than in my God.
So I've been feeding my heart on stories again. Coming back to Chesterton, ND Wilson, and many other children's writers. For the moment I've put aside theology and doctrine, instead choosing to feed myself on stories. I've been reading Paul's letters too much and the prophets too little. I've been reading too many books about God and not enough stories of slaying dragons. I need these heavy clouds in my soul to break up and give way to blue sky. I need to be reminded that safety is not really what I want.
If I am to consider all things a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ, I need to know Christ's worth and I also need to know that it is possible for him to slay the dragon of my sinful nature. It is not difficult for me to believe there is a great and powerful God. It is very hard though for me to believe that this God conquered my sinful nature once for all on the cross and now sees me as holy. It is easy for me to believe he exists to be known but not easy for me to believe he is leading me through sanctification rather than punishment when I am so terrible at the former and so deserving of the latter.
It was Chesterton who said, "fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed." So I'm going to read these stories and be reminded that hope and love and justice are all real. But the story must necessarily include grief and loss and pain and dragons or it wouldn't really be a very good story, now would it? Good thing I have a cup of tea.