Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Phenomenon of Being Too Dumb For One's Gifts

I have been given by the Grace of God incredible visionary experiences. My life has become a feedback loop, wherein my waking world echoes my spiritual experiences from dreams and meditation and prayer, and my experiences in my dreams and meditations and prayers echo my waking life. I can see all that the most extreme religionists see, without being dragged into over-belief. Thanks to my exposure to science, and philosophy, I'm able to filter my raw encounter with the Bible, tradition and personal experience through the strainer of reason, which purifies my vision and keeps me from idolatry. I am coming to know my limits, and just how much one is capable of when God is on their side. Yet, something is missing. What is missing is my ability to really invite other people in to what I am encountering. Some are able to walk a similar path and can share in my joy. Most seem all but incapable of processing even the vaguest expressions of what I'm talking about. And even to those who do understand, I feel I've made myself more a burden than a blessing. For I can see the great work they have to undertake to stretch and see what I'm getting at.

I feel arrogant and full of myself for putting people through such hoops. It should be simple, I make it extremely complicated and hard. I feel like the pharisee who puts an undo burden on those around them.  I feel more connected to the whole world, to God, to the people closest to me, than I ever have. Yet on another level I'm more isolated than I've ever been. This causes me no grief. I have my wife, and my love is more sustaining than ever.

The problem, I think, is that I'm too dumb to fully utilize all I've been given. I feel sometimes, like God's gifts to me are a mistake. Like they were supposed to be given to someone else. I remember a scene from the film PHENOMENON with John Travolta, who has gained great mystical and intellectual power from a mysterious light he saw in the sky. He realized that this great gift had limited effectiveness, because if it had gone to a great scientist or philosopher, so much more could've been done. I have done everything wrong in my life, I've run from God and wallowed in anger, ego and self-destruction, all at various times. Yet God through circumstance and insight has forced His Holy Spirit into my heart. To what end?

A greater man would be able to organize a community of thousands with such vision, a community that would go out and transform the fact of this world like no other. A richer man would be able to use it to maximize profit and use that money to make the world a much better place. A smarter man would be able to write books everyone could enjoy and understand and actually get something out of. A more creative man would write stories that inspire people to much greater heights. If I were an artist I could paint or draw what I see. If a novelist I could draw you into the magic of this mystical feedback loop in a way that was inviting and creative. If a musician I could spread it like wildfire.

Yet I am me. For whatever reason I have what I have. God has raised up the most worthless of people to meet a few times a week, speak some (mostly confusing and rarely useful) words, and write a blog here and there. I love all of this. I am so lucky and so happy, and so very satisfied with all I'm called to do. But if I'm honest, I just don't think I'm very good at it. Maybe I'm better than most, even where I'm at. That isn't much of a comforting thought, though. Quite the opposite. They say God does not call the equipped, He equips the call. Sounds good, sounds true. But I'm not so sure. I'll just keep plugging away. He knows what he's doing.

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