Dreamers of the Day

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible." -T.E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

J.D. Unplugged

In my experience living this post-modern, city life, there seems to be two questions that spark more fear, anxiety and animosity in me than any other questions. The first question is, “If I could do anything, what would it be?” The second question is, “If I could marry anyone, who would that be?”

The first question, dealing with what I do, is usually posed on me or others if the reason for doing is not known. People get frustrated with jobs, they dislike their current position in life and automatically, the self-examination starts. “If I could do anything, what would it be?” My rational thinking starts with the positives and negatives. “I don’t like doing this, I do like doing this” I tell myself and analyze the data. Then, I will go to others and ask their advice on the situation. My analysis always starts with the external--how I think, how I feel and why I do those things.

The second question deals with “The One.” “The One” is looked at as the pinnacle of “The Life” I live. If only I could find “The One.” When will I discover “The One?” Did I miss “The One?” Did I make a mistake and leave “The One?” In my understanding, “The One” is so focused on, that “The One” evolves into an image instead of a person. Find. Discover. Lose. These are all terms I use or have heard multiple times in describing the “search” for “The One.” As if “The One” is a treasure that is unheard of. My life is in constant turmoil between the truth in Genesis about Him creating me for someone else and the sacrifice of my own life to Him. Yes, I have a will and a brain to use in order to enter the life of another, but when and who? My life (the will to choose) is continually pondered, but my death (my depravity) is frequently ignored.

What mystifies me of both of these questions is not the manner in which I attempt to answer them, but why I am asking them in the first place. I do not pose these questions because I know who I am, but because I do not know who I am. That is why these make me anxious, fearful and confused. I then try to find meaning in what I do and who I am by focusing on things which I can see. I will build fixated images of the perfect “The One” and idolize my own needs that this person will fulfill when I am really saying, “God, I am in control and can take care of my life by myself.” I am setting myself up for a huge disappoint in placing that much focus on another fallen, human being. It is fun having a personal god.

“If I could do anything….” This implies that it is I who am in charge of the reason for my existence. I live in a culture that exalts the will of the human spirit. While running the marathon in Chicago with 40,000 other people and over 1 million watching and cheering, nothing was more powerful than the power of humanity. We were running on 26.2 miles of man made creation. Concrete, asphalt and building reaching to the skies seemed to echo the lifestyle, “I am great, try and stop me.” The will of a person to run for 26.2 miles is immense and the power of that many people coming together for one common goal was breathtaking. It is hard to see how feeble man is in the big city. Yet, if one poses the question—“If I could do anything….”—it exposes one's brokenness. It exposes an inexperience of being god. One cannot be god and thus one cannot decide what to do. Sure, some people will answer that quickly, but then ponder it and have several other answers. I desire, fight and claw for control in my life, but when given the chance to chose it, I have no idea what I would do with it.

I have no idea who I am apart from Christ. My life is filled with temporal, ephemeral chores to fill a life, but it does not create life. My death is what really determines who I am. I am quick to forget that my next breathe could be my last. I quickly forget I could lose my job, my finances and my ability to run in an instant. My “image” can change in an instant, but in that instant my true image is revealed. Christ did not create me to be in-charge of my kingdom, but to receive Him—His love, His grace, His forgiveness and His discipline. I am the slave, not the Master.

I think these are bad questions. They are difficult to answer and if they are answered, they are little help to me. “Who am I” gives me much more comfort. It is not an escape from reality, but a reality check. If God is who He said and says He is and He blesses those who fear Him, then I must trust Him. I must trust that He is my source of identity, my life, my purpose, my love, my hope and my being. In knowing Him, I can do that which I am created to do because I receive love not based on my works, but by faith. I can know who I am to be partnered with, because my God is the creator of each and every person. He knows me greater than I know myself. Does He make choices of our careers and love life for us? No. My choices will not determine the amount He loves me.

Who is my god? Who am I? Can I trust Him in my death? I can answer these questions. These help me with the real issues of my life. The rest is just details.


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At 7:07 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Hear Hear!!
Makes ya think doesn't it.....

At 9:45 AM, Blogger amy said...

Wow - I needed this SO BADLY today. These are such grea thoughts JD...I got SO caught up in the details day after day after day. I always go back to what you once said to me "who is my God?"

This spoke volumes today - heard it before, but needed it again ~

At 11:33 AM, Blogger Emily said...

Thank you for that Jason...

My problem is that I like to have a plan B, C, and D, to God's plan A...you know, in case He needs a back-up plan. Foolish, I know.

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Creth said...


details bother me ALL OF THE TIME

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Emily said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3:44 PM, Blogger Emily said...

Yes, that picture was taken the night we saw the Neil Diamond tribute band. I have some great pictures from that night.

The sky completely changed palettes about 4 times. It was remarkable...

At 9:42 AM, Blogger amy said...

You like us talking about how cool you are... Well, you'd be a lot cooler if you'd share what's in that constantly churning mind of yours and write something profound about the lessons of life and all the glory it beholds.

You know...just something like your regular stuff. :)


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