Last night I was reading a book that I have had for a while but just haven't picked it up yet..."The Solace of Fierce Landscapes". I didn't get to far into it because of its depth and some of the more profound thoughts Belden Lane presents.
I find the idea of individual contemplative apophatic anthropology to be particularly profound. So what does that mean? To me anyway? Here goes...
As a man attempting to live in reaction to the Cross of Jesus as the initiating and foundation of God's best for me...His love mercy and grace, I can't find true identity and purpose in the "building up" of a personal identity that appears to be "Christian". Nor can I find purpose in "right living". Not that lifestyles, choices and attitudes aren't linked to God's transformative power, but they are simply a result of transformation rather than the ways through which we transform.
God's best work is done when I am undone. God does not take over parts within me that are currently occupied...he only invades the empty spaces, the part marked off for him, the areas within that have been burned, cleared and prepared for Him. So establishing anything within myself...even a really good intention, a solid plan or a great self-help model seems antithetical to the work of God. God needs my surrender and submission to work but God never needs my help. To think I can, in any lasting or significant way, pull myself up by my own spiritual bootstraps is insane.
So why is this important? For me it answers the questions I have often asked about how can I have a meaningful spiritual experience one moment and then moments later be focused on sin? How can the highest high in spirituality fade so quickly to the lowest low? Where is the sustainability? Where is consistency? How about growth? I think, with increasing confidence, that these things come from God's efforts of transformation in the areas of life I yield to Him. All of the work is done by Him and it all occurs in His timing and for His glory.
Proverbs 25:2 "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."
May God receive glory as we seek from Him the things he has hidden. May those things be found in the driest, most arid places of our souls as His cool water of life quenches the thirst within us.