“If one’s religion is to mean anything, if it is to last, it has to stand outside of time and place. Its truths have to be transcendent…. To be blunt, a god that is no bigger than our own desires is not God at all, but a divinized rationalization for self-worship” – Rob Dreher
I find a weird sort of peace in reading this quote – weird because in the past it would have held a sharp disciplinary slant, reminding me that my desires are ‘bad’ and that loving God means giving my heart-desires up. When I consider my desires in the context of who I wish to be, it seems that the desires themselves are not bad, but when I worship them as if they were God, I forever find myself lacking, and upset – as if it were God himself betraying me. But… I am beginning to find a particular safety in honouring Gods divinity and accepting my humanness – it’s a strange sort of paradox. It seems when we recognise (and accept) the limits of our humanness, we actually create new space for God to move and create new life within.
When my idea of who I, or how things should be fails – my health, my expectations, my standard of success, my inability to be an always kind, selfless human…. I need never to be entirely crushed by these so-called failures. Furthermore, when God is seen and known as the divine amidst our human error, the object of our hope I would think, is never nor will it ever be lost. Is that I wonder, how our spirit remains full in the empty places and has the ability to be a spring that never runs dry (Isaiah 58:11-12)? Does it have less to do with consistently seeing our desires coming to fulfillment, but rather consistently being drawn towards the divine in the face of what is often a somewhat messy and unpredictable world?
It is within these moments, of experiencing the pain of our humanness, that we find we can boldly welcome and invite a divine God in – a God who in actual fact, was calling us towards him first. As God-the-Father showed us through the life of his beloved son Jesus; an apparent end (or failure, or disappointment, or a hitting of rock bottom) often becomes the very entry point for the breath of new life. If Jesus was a picture given of what it is for us to know God also, then I would think his birth, death and resurrection might offer a metaphor for our day-to-day human living too.What if our faith were rooted not in our failing human standards, but rather a divine God who transcends the limits of our humanness? Our lack of perfection does not equate to a failure to be human, but rather, a universal human failure to be God. He gets it, and he got it from the beginning. God is here-with-us not blindly, but presently – to each and every happening, so that our lives might keep moving and flourishing in the face of the horrors and failures that we most certainly will face. He is here so we might continue to move, find hope and bring light to what was dark. He is here to be God in our inevitable humanness. Let’s give him room to be the God he says he is, and out of this, find a little more grace for our own, and our neighbors humanness.