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Monday, January 03, 2011

The Fear of God is the Beginning of Wisdom/God is Love/There is No Fear in Love

Let's be honest: I am a very melancholy person by nature. I don't know why. Maybe it is hereditary? It is definitely annoying. I certainly have no interest in being that way. I know several people with the same disposition, and they seem to enjoy it, or at the least, revel in it. I do not. I really, really want to be happy. That is my nature versus my desire. My heart wants to be happy and my mind wants me to be miserable. My mind never wants me to be more miserable than when I am happy. I can't count the times I have reached some sort of joyful pinnacle only to face an onrush of thoughts:
This won't last.
This isn't real.
Think about how things could go wrong.
This isn't what you really want.
You will die before you really learn how to enjoy this.
This of course makes me want to brood. I am not sure if this helps or hurts. Probably helps, but who has time to brood these days? The perhaps ironic thing is that it doesn't take much to make me happy. Video games, food, or music pretty much do it. So does a nature hike. On more complex levels, spending time with my wife and son make me even happier. So does writing when I can actually get myself to go through with it. Maybe that is the microcosm of my melancholy. I want to write, really enjoy it when I do, am bursting with ideas, but often find myself retreating when I get on a roll. The same thing goes for music. Bah.
Every year I try to make some sort of New Year's resolution in the vein of being happy. I think what my life comes down to is this: I can think of several periods of time that I have been absolutely fearless. Not coincidentally, those have been the happiest times of my life. So why can't I be like that all the time?
Jesus tells us that we should not worry and gives very good reasons why. Since Jesus is God and we are told right at the start of Proverbs that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom we should do what Jesus says. Then John tells us that God is love, there is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out all fear because fear has to do with punishment. Logically, if I am worried all the time, I am full of fear, therefore, I feel that I deserve to be punished, which I guess means I have guilt issues. I am definitely my harshest critic. Nothing bothers me more than someone pounding into me that I have failed because that person does not realize they could never be more devastating to me than my own mind. Maybe some part of me feels like I don't deserve happiness, but now that I type that out it sounds really pathetic and whiny.
Maybe I am just suffering from what I have heard referred to as "the human condition." Perhaps, as C.S. Lewis used to say, I am just longing for Heaven where everything will be perfect, and my battles with dissatisfaction are simply my spirit realizing the ephemeral, imperfect nature of my experiences.
Maybe sometimes, but I think that the worrying vein runs a bit darker.
I think someone or something knows that my happiness is not altruistic to its motives.
Or maybe I just hate myself.
I would love to just enjoy every facet of my life. I have a beautiful wife, a beautiful child, a good job, near-youth, food in my fridge, money in the bank, I have beaten The Legend Of Zelda: A Link to the Past on the Super Nintendo, the trees and sky are beautiful, the ocean exists, and God is Love.
To paraphrase a singer that isn't quite my favorite:
Then why the hell am I so sad?

I am encouraged by Numbers 6:24-26 (Thank you, Craig's Brother)
May God Bless you and guard you
May God make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you
May God lift up his face unto you and give you peace


one bullet, one empty head said...

My mom always used to pray that over us when she dropped us off at school. I totally cried when I realized that was the prayer Ted chose for Peace on Earth... then they renamed the song after the prayer.

Anonymous said...

Great, honest post Nic. Thank you.