It was right there all along. It’s been right there since the beginning of time. An undeniable feeling that there is nothing to life and in the end, obliteration to the grave. A lot of atheists, even pantheists are trapped in that despair. But, despair can be engendered by many experiences, not just feeling hopeless and without a meaning. Betrayal is one of the worst as it gives a strong emotion of destruction and the end of a trust that turned out pretty bad. Often, a feeling of being considered worthless by a friend.
This attitude of despair is tragic and is a ‘constrained’ view. A viable example is a quote from Kant. “From the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made” This view is that we are hopelessly flawed. This is in direct contrast to an ‘unconstrained’ view. There are no limits to human achievement. With reason and will power we can manage war and poverty and solve them entirely. A quote from Rousseau: “man is born free but is in chains” We are in chains but are worthy to be loved by our rescuer that has loved us since we were formed in the womb. This is reality for all of us. All the flawed things of ours and all of our pride in our power can be healed by the only perfect man that ever lived and is alive within us. It’s perfect love. Talk to Him. Sing to Him.
Jack was reading his journal from a few years back and remembered when the Gator family had been betrayed. They lost a place of great import to them. A place where they put a huge amount of work rehabbing, building, painting and equipping a full house of prayer. A place where the whole family would sing and pray to the man, the one who is with God and is God. Jesus.
It was a place of no reputation and a gift from the owner. Then after a few years, a possible buyer of the building guaranteed Jack’s family that if God allowed the sale they could continue singing and worshipping there. Within a few weeks of owning the building, the new owner told them to pack up and leave. Despair and betrayal of a man’s word given. It was hard and it looked at from the constrained philosophical view an inevitable event. After all, it was too good to last as the saying goes. More crooked timber revealed. Fear for the new owners final encounter with the betrayal of God.
After a while the family learned that neither view of our world was correct. The loss was not unseen and a lesson for them to not hold anything too tight as their right. Neither hopelessness nor bootstrap lifting was any sort of answer. After all, trust in the creator and sustainer of all things was available right at hand. Crying out to Him and giving all their angst and disappointment to Him.
After the very last two hours of an incredible set of music and deep sung prayers, it was over. Time to leave and put it all away. The scrollwork on the walls. New walls too that they painted well. The drum cage and all the sound equipment, instruments and beauty created by them. Standing stunned by the intense worship and the finality, Jack looked at the clock they could see from their platform. It read twenty after seven. The same time they had started that last set. It had stopped and indeed, time stood still as they just stood there weeping in their saviors presence.
Another chapter and book of excitement and training for the whole family. What was next for them? Ministering to people. Writing and encouraging folks often never met. Speaking truth when it was asked of them and above all of that, still worshipping and also listening to others worship, occasionally involved in other places that they could use their steadied and visible faith. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator