Well, hello again. I will get back to the series I started a while back (part 1, part 2, part 3) as soon I regain the neural capacity. This time I am going with something more apropos the topics of discussion that are trending in my own home.
My wife is working on an extended project having to do with significance and meaning. You can get a taste of the direction it is heading in this post. Add to that the difficulties of getting by on not quite enough money and the struggles of our ongoing (unpaid) work of revolutionizing the care of at-risk children and and my incessant need to make sense of things and nearly pathological desire for significance and you will end up with some thoughts on the desires of God and our quality of life.
Particularly in developed countries there is this notion that following God should make our life nice and easy. This comes out often when we are making decisions about what to do with our life. I have often heard people say things along the lines of, "If God is behind it (whatever "it" is) then it will work." Usually "it working" means "it will be easy" or "things will fall into place." There are all sorts of biblical precedents that indicate that this is crazy talk. So I won't bother talking about this from that direction. The simple observation that there is rape and murder in the world indicates that what God wants does not necessarily actually take place in the real world. How then can we believe that our endeavors will go more smoothly if God is behind them?
What particularly interests me right now is the way we look to heros of the faith for inspiration. When we do this we more or less look strictly at the final hero status and separate that from what led to the status. We look at the end product of the famous person, the recognized hero and actually look up to the recognition and fame rather than the process that led to it, forgetting that no hero ever has heroism handed to them. Salvation is a thing handed to us through the grace of God. Heroism is something we earn. The only way someone becomes a hero is by getting the crap kicked out of them. That beating is absolutely necessary to the end result. It is through enduring the beatings and holding on and pushing through that one ever has the possibility of achieving heroism.
God has plans in this world. God struggles and has to overcome. Look at the true revelation of the living God. God incarnate in his deepest self revelation in the world. Did Jesus need to push through and overcome adversity to effect salvation? I know, stupid question. To be fully conformed to the image of Christ involves heroism. The struggle itself is an integral part of the path.
Go forth and conquer