Fearing the Joyful Feelings

I’m not the guy to tell you how to handle your feelings, but I’ve learned, that you got to let them out. You got to share them with the people who love you. — Randle, This is Us

My mom got me into the show, This is Us, back in the states. It’s a good show. I like what Randle eludes to, share and let your feelings out with people who love you. Why am I talking about this? I’m not sure; especially since I just spent a good bit of time yesterday talking with a friend saying I’m good at processing my own feelings on my time, I’m more shocked then you. Let’s face it not everybody in this universe loves to feel. It takes some humans, typically men, a good bit to be willing to open up and share, one can call it a  mental preparation. Now is it that God designed us this way or from our past interactions or whether that be in our household we formed this mental preparation to withdraw, shelter, or stonewall as a defense mechanism to guard us from the pain? The latter seems more plausible, but you can fall into either the former or latter.

I keep being plagued by this vision in my head: I’m in the middle of a violent storm or at times just standing around high waves, the point being I’m in a sea. Now this where it gets interesting. It seems I have walked this far not on my own volition, but more like awoken to where my feet have brought me. (You know that scene in, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. He is standing on that ledge needing to take the step of faith and when he does he lands on the invisible bridge, that’s what I believe I’m standing on.) I can’t really see the definite path in front of me, but I know it’s there. Regardless of the waves and shark fins I see trying to scare me and lay in wait a head of me I know this safe path of faith has my footing. It excites me. There is this allure and deep call saying, ‘The unknown lies ahead. Keep walking. That is happiness.’ As much as the allure sounds deep in my heart and soul, I am stricken with fear. There comes a thought more like a booming louder voice that says, ‘DON’T GO. You moving away from the safety of the shore. Eventually the path will end and what then? What happens if you fall off? You can’t even swim. Why you even this far?’

I or you can spout many symbolic references between faith and the voices and how I’m assured in Christ but for now we are not going to examine my vision. The point of me sharing is because I believe you reading this can find yourself in this predicament too. In a prior post, Compelle Intrare Through Testimony, I shared how in Luke 15: The Parable of the Prodigal Son, mirrored my path, but sadly my new stage in life has swung me to the mindset of the older son in that story. The father just received his prodigal son back with open arms and says, “‘For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.” Potential to be such a hallmark ending, but the story continues:

“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”Luke 15:25-32

What a righteous uppity prick; furthermore, let’s focus on the father’s response, bolded above for emphasis, and how we see Divine Heavenly Joy. The older brother is pissed and has revealed that his allegiance and obeying hasn’t been out of love to his father, but deep down just as arrogant and demanding as the younger son. Heaven rejoices when a sinner repents and is reconciled to God through faith in Jesus whether that be the sinner who on bourbon st. dancing or drinking themselves into a blackout state or slashed and killed many to even the uppity righteous prick who grew up in church or average joe doing the good things like working for a house and paying his car note and loans. The latter may say, ‘I’m not doing bad like those people, and shoot, look I’m helping in the church. I give to that poor person.’ All that goodness motivated out of self-reliance and self-gratification, can we just say pride, ain’t good enough when it’s stacked next to a holy perfect God. Your action on succeeding and doing good ain’t all that “good”.

Our greatest fear should not be failure, but at succeeding in things in life that really don’t matter — Francis Chan

Chan is on to something, but I’m gonna through out why even fear? I know easier said then done. 2 Timothy 1:7, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” Jesus says in Luke, “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Divine Heavenly Joy what a new discovery. So whether your the prodigal or the older legalistic son it doesn’t matter both need reconciliation. Both cause the Joy to be lifted up and shouted in Heaven for all leads to God’s glory. Sorry for all these “fancy” overly christanese words. Common sense might be booming deep down saying, “He’s full of shit believing in this. I’m no sinner.” To that I beseech you to examine your success in all areas of your life. There is so much more to life then what causes you to fear or even excites you.

But supposing infinite happiness really is there, waiting for us? Supposing one really can reach the rainbow’s end? In that case it would be a pity to find out too late (a moment after death) that by our supposed ‘common sense’ we had stifled in ourselves the faculty of enjoying it. — C.S. Lewis



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