|Sheridan, WY: The location of untold blessings for me|
By virtue of our baptism, God has taken up the central place in our heart. The second half of the gospel quote above, "[A]nd we will come to him and make our dwelling with him" points to this. God dwells within us, but we spend our whole lives searching for him. This was Augustine's realization in the Confessions when he wrote, "Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you." While we seek God all over the world, he actually dwells within us.
And because he dwells within us, we have to make sure he is the central actor, the primary player in our life. I don't think that the best way to pray as a Christian is to pray, "Jesus, help me," but rather, "Jesus, take care of this for me." He is the source of all our strength, and so it's his strength and his power that get us through the day. He is the center of our existence, he's the only center that can hold. He is the source of our identity, the source of all that is true and reliable in the world.
|Descartes: Brilliant mathematician, terrible philosopher|
I think the latest manifestation of this way of thinking is the bathroom wars, which is of course just one symptom of gender ideology. It is a sad comment on society when the bathrooms of Target cause such controversy and vitriol. But it is the ultimate triumph of the Self when even such a thing as gender becomes a choice (or a felt and deeply believed thing, I acknowledge), and the real world, the world "out there," is expected to conform to this decision of the individual that has no bearing in the world as it actually exists.
The Self has truly replaced God as the center of existence. The only antidote or solution is to let God have his central spot in our identity. He is the source of everything, including our identity, so we want to receive even our identity from him. No matter how many titles we apply to ourselves-spouse, parent, child, doctor, lawyer, etc-we need to receive our fundamental identity from God. Before I am any of those things, I am God's beloved son, I am God's beloved daughter. First I must know myself as loved by God. This enables me to be obedient to his commands. This is the center that holds.