Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Visions & Revelations
Reference: 1 Corinthians 14:1-25 & 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Paul wants us to seek the spiritual gifts, and boasts of his own revelations. He is elated by his visions. Yet that elation is tempered by some darker, more sinister vision that assaults him. I can relate on both counts. I have seen heaven, and I have seen hell. Last night was a bad night, last meditation a good meditation, the night before a good night, the meditation before a bad meditation. One can see the darkness of one's soul or the light of the image of God within one. What does all this mean? One wonders. Is life a heaven or a hell? Both at the same time? Faith is believing that the Heaven is greater than the hell. Yet life is experienced as both. I want to have the pure joy, the pure Presence. Yet perhaps the visions of evil are, like Paul, ways to remind me that I am a worthless sinner still, reliant on God alone. I have heard no voice yet that tells me that the darkness is for my own good, yet my conscience sounds like the voice of God when it tells me this is so. The voice of God comforts and wards off the evil. The evil tempers the spiritual pride that accompanies God's presence. Maybe it is all for my good. But I cannot live that way. I seek the higher and fight the lower. I look for a place where God's light fills me and the darkness is kept forever at bay. I will deal with life and try to understand life as it is in the meantime, but I must seek an absolute peace. If like Paul I am denied this to the end, so be it. But I'll never stop looking.
Side thought: doesn't Paul's thorn prove that discomfort and unease is not necessarily unChristian. Peace, yes, but peace within the storm, not outside of it.