Carey said in his comment to the last post, "I think we are all still egocentric adolescents."
I agree. We remain such until we gain maturity in Jesus, which occurs when we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God.
We often hear folks refer to the Christian walk as a journey; I have and do. Yet this morning it occurs to me there is a subtle problem with the metaphor.
Functionally, it allows one to acknowledge he or she does not understand everything but has faith to believe the right path has been found. Within the paradigm of a journey it becomes acceptable to veer at times as an unavoidable circumstance. This I describe may be a moment or days of being confused, rattled, distracted, or feeling somehow separated from God. Some water-cooler discussion at work brings us to a statement of Christian platitude, perhaps, which on reflection in a quiet time we feel failed to answer the other person's question or challenge. We realize the platitude itself doesn't satisfy us.
I once stumbled upon a blog post that was three years old. All I remember of it is that the author was a British Christian and this post was reported by him to be his last. The three or so lengthy paragraphs were everything he needed to say on the topic; and in his estimation, all that needed to be said on the topic which I cannot remember. It was a Christian topic I do recall. Anyway, he determined to leave the blog open for others to read, yet he had finished this blog for all time as the contents were that important for Christians to understand. I guess I should have bookmarked his blog or worked harder at remembering his position.
Was his journey with God finished? Did he understand something we all needed to know, but which I failed to understand since I wasn't moved to remember his point? Was he a bit ego-centric? I wonder how he thinks today about that summative and "final" position he took. Is the journey no journey at all, if we have figured it all out? How do we interpret Ecclessiastes' lament that there is nothing new under the sun, if we assume that our life journey into God allows that we discover something we have not known?
I think I raise two questions at once as the double tines of a large and piercing fork. A fork I often feel impaled upon!
1. Is walking with God not a journey but a destination? It is full and finished as is, though I have yet to fill up the number of days allotted to me.
2. Is question number one an ego-centric position that I, as a mere human, actually understand all of my life?
Back to the journey metaphor: I think we feel safe living within the metaphor. It gives us a mental and emotional space to contain our failures before God and our aspirations toward His holiness within the same container of the self. We wrestle our selfishness with some measure of self awareness that to be selfish is a characteristic of being incomplete, and that is accurate. We then in contrast know, piecemeal perhaps, God. From this level of awareness, we see spiritually and recognize much that the one who is truly lost will not see. Thus caught between two opposed realities of our existence, we have to explain why we are not fully in God all the time. Hence we adopt the metaphor of the journey. Being held a moment or two in the briar patch because we took a misstep off the path in the Wild Wood is to be expected, eh?
Or is it?
It is finished--at least His side of it. There is no journey, if we mean by journey to find more of God. Yet it is also true that something remains to be "discovered" by us. It is not anything new. But if we do not have it, then it remains to be found. Many of us (perhaps not all) are stuck in the briar patch until we do something together: it is written above as copied from Ephesians.