Thursday, November 15, 2012

Falling to Heaven

Note to self: Read the book that contains the following excerpt.

"...almost all my intuitions about happiness lead me astray.

The promising path is routinely the one I’m not taking—in fact, the one I would never consider taking because it seems from my unhappy place to be absurdly and obviously wrong.

For he teaches that our burdens are lifted only as we take upon ourselves an additional burden! Take my yoke upon you . . . and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Think about what this means. When we are feeling burdened, weighed down, and heavy, Jesus is telling us that relief comes only as we do what all of our intuitions tell us is the last thing we should do—take upon ourselves an additional burden. Although yokes distribute burdens between partners, Jesus is asking us to take on the burden of a yoke we aren’t presently carrying. This is an additional weight, or at least it seems to be, and therefore what sounds like an added measure of heaviness.

As I have walked my own share of such paths, I have learned that what they offer is a mirage—a kind of cotton candy to the soul that leaves us emptier or else more puffed up than before.

Happiness so often seems elusive because it rests on a paradox—an apparent contradiction that lies at the very heart of the gospel.

Happiness rests on believing Jesus even when what he is telling us seems mistaken. Come take this burden, that you may be light, he tells us. Lose yourself that you may find.

The existence of an important divine paradox is implied by how often the Lord and his prophets speak in paradoxical terms. Jesus famously taught, “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” To his disciples he said, “Whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.” Concerning wisdom, Paul declared, “If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.” "When I am weak,” he declared elsewhere, “then am I strong.” "Consider as well the paradoxical nature of the central elements of the gospel. God became man. Mankind fell so that they might become exalted. Jesus died so that we might live. Our “garments are made white in his blood.” “And with his stripes we are healed.”

This means that in order to put off the unhappiness of the natural man, we must first do what feels unnatural to the natural man.

And that requires that we to submit to, rather than resist, the paradox."

-Falling to Heaven by James Ferrell

No comments:

Post a Comment