There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability;
there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community. - M. Scott Peck

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What's The Point?

“Knowing” Jesus has been pretty much an intellectual thing for me as a Catholic. And, when I worked at Catholic Charities, it was easy to tie in everything I did at work to that intellectual exercise of having a “good relationship with God.” But Sundays at Nativity and Wednesdays in my Small Group are moving that intellectual “knowing” to more of a heart “knowing.” Jesus isn’t looking for an intellectual exercise, but a heart changing relationship.

Group last night highlighted the extremes of that important heart relationship. We talked about Jeremiah following God’s instructions about underwear. Underwear - really? Bury them. Dig them up. What’s the point?

Sometimes my everyday life feels like “What’s the point?” Am I really making a difference? Get up, go to work, come home, go to bed and do it all again tomorrow. What’s the point? Without having a real heart relationship with Jesus - not just an intellectual one, it might be easy to question what the point is every day. But Jeremiah used a pointless exercise to deepen his trust in God. No questions asked, no hesitation, no push back – bury them then dig them up. I want that kind of faith and trust.

And then we had the crushing sadness of the death of a young man – a student at Immaculate Conception school. He’s not old enough for death. No family should have to go through that kind of pain and sorrow. This makes no sense. How do the fathers among us in the room even begin to process this one – especially one of our guys whose children were in school with him? How does anyone? He was just a young boy. What’s the point?

We have no ability to understand and there’s no good earthly reason for this tragic event. An intellectual relationship with God does not get you through this valley of tears. Only a relationship of the heart with a good and gracious God can get us to the other side of the deep, aching pain and sadness. And certainly, it is never easy. Jeremiah’s task seems even more ridiculous by comparison. But knowing God like Jeremiah, trusting God like Jeremiah, believing in God like Jeremiah is the only thing that can possibly make such a loss bearable. I need that kind of faith and trust.

Knowing Jesus at a heart level changed my relationship with Jesus. It changed how I look at mundane things and how I approach tragedy.

And so we pray from the heart to our good and gracious God for the Cox family.

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