Note to reader; I have (apparently) developed the habit of rewriting these old C.P.E.s as I transcribe them off of old photocopies laying around the house. I shall endeavor to remain more or less true to the original here, but as usual; I find my normal writing to be often too dense and cryptic. It needs a bit of folksy fluffing up! So then, onward we sprint.
There is a circularity to things, and one thing feeding off of another, in turn re-enforces the first. For instance, some people (often men) become millionaires as motivational speaker types. They, for a hefty sum; will come to a hall or an event so to "inspire" others (you, I mean) such that "we learn to" successfully overcome what I deem "the bump".
The bump is all around us, and in us. Most notably perhaps, it is evident in the heart, and by this; please infer in the essay, that I refer to "our want-to". All day, we put up with co-workers who are ever trying to do the very least that they can, in order to get by. They do not want to work diligently. At the grocery store, people are surely found able to wheel out their cart, and also way too "exhausted" to return it. My room needs cleaning, and the oatmeal needs boiling, and exhaustion, or stress, or worry or some other interference "prohibits". It is a three inch high Mount Everest we behold.
The reason we call it the bump, is to compare the phenomenon to those darned speed bumps found in parking lots. I enjoy watching low-riders drive over such bumps. It, this supreme slowpokery; reminds of how we ourselves are. The wreckage of the suspension system on a Monte Carlo is a bit like the wreckage in us, don't you think?
The "want-to" in us is broken, and instead of gliding over tiny obstacles, we keep finding "excuses, forgetting and exhaustion" as the way to not-do. The way of the bump is our irresponsible nature in all it's glory. We "want very badly" to be let off the hook, and for someone else to lead. Motivational speakers are paid to attempt to override this strong "not-want" in us, so to furnish with a "new-want" to become leaders. The sketchy results of their "work" are normally covered by yet more excuses and forgetting on our part. Just here, we view the damage wrought at Eden. Our hearts are wrong, our wanters are wrecked; and it shows!
Have you ever enjoyed the spectacle of a low-rider in the Albertson's lot? It is downright comical watching the ever so careful and slow approach to "Mount Speed-bump". But this unwillingness to begin is not nearly so humorous when found in people. Like the guys I work with, as they ever so slowly approach the "tough" job of digging a two foot deep hole, to find the water line, it makes me want to shout at them, "Get the lead out of your ass!". Or, on my other job of part-time janitor, the guys "not noticing" that huge pile of boxes that we are being paid to move! Out "want-to" is busted, and no number of coats of paint can hide the problem. It is in us, it is around us, and to some degree at minimum; is us!
People will gladly inform you, "You shouldn't make a mountain out of a molehill", and they will soberly inform you that the lackluster and lazy man nonetheless "has his heart in the right place". And so, we can safely infer that like lowriders ascending the three inch "mountain", we normally are in fact making mountains of molehills. Moreover, this demonstrably proving that our hearts are not now, and never were "in the right place".
All of this is fairly common as a conversational matter, especially if the target of the comments is not present. We wish we were different, but the problem here never does go away. No amount of scolding, or it's opposite, the dreaded building of "self-esteem", ever begins to put a dent in our block-heart behaviors. No stressing of "accountability and communication" ever appear to return a single shopping cart; or get one hole dug.
In it's simple form, we might thereby ask; "How can I make myself want . . . what I do not (in fact) want?", and in any case, why would I want to?. Those reputed to be the zealous, those, the fired-up, them, the happy and efficient, are reputedly that way, but let's just face it; I'm not. Moreover, I don't really want to be like them, but supposing I could somehow counter this un-desire in me, of what use is the mere advice "to become exuberant, joyous and whatnot"? It just bounces off. You'll really notice this in church if ever you go.
I don't think you could pay me enough to be a Pastor, I see the bump all too clearly. All of this gutless "you-first" stuff, the excuses and foot-dragging of the reluctant sheep, how do you go about shepherding them? The ever so slow ascent of Mount Gossip, the overcoming of the tremendous inertia to begin even the very easiest of tasks, these slow-poke baby steps would drive me bonkers!
And it is just here, that we view the so-called "cure" being so widely slathered on. From the lips of the exhausted, out of the mouths of the forgetful, comes the stellar answer? It kind of sounds like; "And, if we all just (you fill in the blank as you please here) and were held accountable!". If "we-all" just did, or did not, something or another, then poof and kapow, all of this collective lead in our butts would mysteriously disappear? Please, stop the madness.
You see, the disease in us is spread from heart to mind. We are impaired, and as such, we gladly endorse the shallow and stupid, and have "issues" with believing the rock solid and true. We believe in ghosts, and doubt the times tables. From there, it spreads to the soul, and we find we are simply overwhelmed with the pointless and busy, so to ever put off living until "tomorrow" (retirement). Next, it spreads to strength, and we end up vainly hoping to gather the "oomph" to tackle those really big jobs, while freely admitting we are (just now) too tired to even pick up the trash on the floor right in front of us. In all this, we numbly keep right on thinking that the overcoming of the bump is something we can (or perhaps could?) do, if-only, and if-only; off into a perpetually never arriving future.
This puny "over-coming" (which never actually happens) is in a sense then, the Western and Christian "thing". This enormous amount of talk (this essay included), that never ending coaching, and all the inveterate planning through an infinite series of "meetings" makes me mentally ill. It is shameful in my estimation, that low-riders are far better at the task of bump surmounting, in that they are at least rolling!
Somehow, we know. We know that our hearts ought be afire, and that they are not. But where the thing goes blank is how to get there, from here? We get downright silly, and await some "grassroots" type of "groundswell", in which the many are (collectively) fired up. Ah, then things will change! But (conveniently enough), it is never me who changes. We, along these lines; pray for "revival". In it all, that same "you-first" gutlessness, and the serial excuses made, for why "the message isn't getting out" (and such blather) always very conveniently indeed, lets me personally (but never you!), off the hook. And it makes me want to puke.
Like so many surfers, we are paddling about in the water, awaiting the next big one. Consistently, and purposefully, we "forget" that He is the wave, He is the fire! Our ordinary "solutions" to the bump are thus abstract and impersonal; thereby impotent to change the want-to in us, much less to change the world.
Very roughly, it might be like me telling you; "You ought be more thoughtful", while never mentioning that thinking is about something! You might or might not end up being thoughtful as you solve a problem, or puzzle out an answer, but thoughtfulness is the result of thinking not the cause! And this bizarre backwardness of ours, this half-wanting of what we want-not, is formally insane in my opinion. The firing of the heart is a contractual affair, a covenantal and oath swearing thing, and so rotates squarely upon promises given and received. In brief, the center of heart-fire, is He in Person, and specifically His trustworthyness. Do you see?
This can only mean one thing, The Trust-ed One . . . trusts! Ergo, He is trusting me! Gosh, doesn't He (of all Persons!) know what a bad bet I am? How could He trust me to do the right thing, or be the right kind of man? And the new thing is by our trusting Him, we first begin to be trustable ourselves. Yes, and we give Him our center, yes, we hand over our want-to, believing He will not prove to be yet another finger-pointing, foot-shuffling, excuse maker. He proves true!
The upside of Sanction is blessing, and of course, the downside is curse. Armed, dangerous and furious, He comes! Furious at what? And it is precisely here, here at want-to; that we begin to see anew. It was my gutlessness, my wimpy irresponsibility, enjoined by the entire world sunk in this very mire; which He comes to deal a death blow to. Now, a new fire is kindled in us, in that the death-coming, came! Our (we the believing I mean) shattering has been Personally and contractually intercepted! Lawyers are involved, it is real. So then, that constant dread of ours of "being held responsible", this is very "off the hook" thing, which we all our lives we tried to build (and could not) also died!
God the Almighty, He is no wimpy nice Guy, no ineffective excuse maker (like us!), not that ever! No sir, He took the bit in His teeth, and rode right into flames to shield His kids. No incompetant boob of a leader (like some we could name), He "takes the initiative, and forces the solution" home. Sanction is plainly saying; "Break faith with Me, and you die". He, in our place died, and graciously, with Him, we too died! In Him, we have new wanters, new hearts!
Zeal is like thought, it is about something. We are not zealous about zeal, we do not love love, nor do we trust faith. These pitiful zero sums of ours can only build the cage. Meanwhile, He comes to kick down the doors!
Clearly then, from Adam we inherited a "wait and see" approach. We very strongly desire to see the results before we believe the promise. We want-to have our cake, and eat it too! We remain blind to this backwardness itself in us, and that is the norm, which is being overthrown. Ever afraid to get in over our head, we await competence prior to doing the work. Yet, it is only by the doing that competance ever begins at all. To await competence, is to forever postpone; and we did so, because we wanted-to, while never noticing that our "want-to" has (apparently) been wrecked!
Ask the true-hearts, they will tell you. "In the midst of my floundering, and in the very process of being overwhelmed, I found a strength to endure, which I knew not I had. It was the gift (His Gift), of the Son in us, and ever with us!" A new thing is in the earth, and so our infection of laziness and stubborn refusal to get involved is being reversed. In brief, we are (with His aid) beginning to want-anew. And though we might well appear to be "zealous" to others, it was never zeal we desired, but the Captain Himself. The hungry man does not want "appetite" but food! We the lonely, desire the person, not a "mindset". He finds us and He, in Person; is changing hearts, renewing them to want-again. He-afire, He-alight, He the desire of the ages, proves true; so the true-hearts say.
But, be warned, this new thing very much appears to the "still forgetful" to be a dangerous and downright unwholesome "trend" indeed. This new going-up, appears to those standing upside down, to be a going down, and so to them is a loss of freedom, a sacrifice of individuality. And until they too are called awake, it simply must remain the supreme form of "un-want" in them.
And so we valiantly strive for a downward mobility in their eyes. We reach as amateurs for mastery of the low and simple. At the bottom (which is in reality the top) we find our minds being likewise freed to think well of Him, and so too of others. And be honest with me, wasn't that the hardest portion of the bump all along?
He the Infinite and Invisible, hears our weak call in time
He the Eternal King, stoops to enter our dim shed
He the lawfully rejected, gladly accepts
He trusting to the death, we now trust
This, the pattern, this our prayer
He finding us, we finding true desire
With the uncountable throng