So I was thinking the other day. Dangerous I know. But I wondered… what the heck does God want?!
You stare up at the Cross and understand that duty and and love being sacrifice is a Big Deal. But there’s more to it than that.
Why did he feed us? Why did he heal us? If it’s all just one big slog, why did he spend two years hanging out with his disciples, reaching out to people, teaching them, listening to them, touching them, and telling stories to anyone who’d listen?
He believed that whomever heard the story and cherished it would just… understand what it meant. So what are critics supposed to do again? Laugh, as I jest. You can still have commentary on the worlds of Jesus written today– and they still have insights to relate to the modern age.Yes, even ours.
After all, Jesus had an audience in mind, and a body of tradition, and we need to be reminded of that. But what does that mean for Him? What does he really want?
Okay, okay, teach the nations how to follow God. But somehow, we lose something if that’s all we do. Reason can show us that the whole world lacks a certain something, like a beginning, unless God’s in the picture somewhere.
But… Where is the fire?
But like the proverbial guy who has everything… God is a bit of a murky topic when it comes to motive. Why… the Universe? Why this place? Why time? Why did he make a bunch of hyper intelligent naked monkeys with delusions of grandeur?
I know you saw love coming a mile a way, but this is still not quite an explanation. What does love really mean? Sacrifice? Tolerating hardship for a greater cause? Necessity? Sure.
But what is it that we crave when we WANT love?
A soldier learns to love duty, or at least derive the satisfaction of being a necessary part of a larger whole, owed not only to abstract entities or places on a map, but to the faces of his comrades in arms. Those of us who didn’t serve don’t really understand that anymore, because we don’t teach it to anybody but soldiers or within military families. This is a shame, because it is easy enough to lose the depth of this powerful impetus and think of it as slavish or guilt bound. It’s not. And it completes the lives of many men and women who otherwise would be shadows without souls.
But there’s still more.
Because… reading between the lines and recalling Genesis, God doesn’t want to be merely needed. That is why he holds off those who follow him for bread or promises of miracles and living water alone.
He wants to be wanted, not needed. He wants to be gratuitous, to be a source of joy and delight, to be a gift that turns the daily grind of grimdark planet earth into a transcendent mystery. God wants to be the Anti-Murphy that makes all this shit worth while. That’s why even death had to fall before him, and the resurrection came as a huge surprise. Even he he had been telling stories about it all along.
And I believe that it is this aspect of love that we idolize the wild affair, break our homes and our marriages, looking for the spark we left to die at home. We become accustomed to the necessity of our beloved, and not the precious gift that God meant him or her to be. And because we think of all reality as a gift, we forget to cherish the gifts we truly value, and become vain accountants looking for an equality that cannot exist between two different people.
So this key to love is not just about God, but about us, and our relationships. It is true for friends, for family, for lovers and spouses. And in the name of delighting in every flower, we love the wide field and forget the fragile blooms entirely.