April 24, 2011
A Truth That Each One Must Deal With
“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25,26).
When we look at the matter honestly, we can see that everything comes down to one simple truth. The time comes when every other reality drops away and we’re confronted with the stark simplicity of this fact: we have no one but God, and because of our sin, we are cut off even from God. This is a truth that each one of us must deal with sooner or later. We may or may not deal wisely with it, but deal with it we must. God is waiting for us to do so. True religion has a chance to arise in our hearts when, as solitary beings, we confess how empty we are without God.
Most of us spend our lives leaning on props. We instinctively sense the need for “relationship” to other beings, but we foolishly build our relationships on the shifting sands of false principles. Feeling the urge to “do something,” we throw ourselves into a fury of daily activity. And driven to “acquire,” we heap up for ourselves a horde of assets and possessions. Our relationships, our activities, and our possessions – these become our props. And despite their undependability, they become the sum and substance of our lives.
After a while, we can hardly see how totally we’ve come to lean on these things. We’re hiding from the truth, of course, but as long as our props are in place, we don’t worry about our alienation. Deep down, our hearts are a lonely void, but we’re simply too busy to think about it very much.
But what do we do when all the props are taken away? What do we do when we stand alone, nakedly “individual” before our God, with every other choice stripped away from us except our choice concerning God, God’s self? Do we choose to turn even more selfishly inward, or do we desire God and turn penitently upward? When the laughter has died down, the party is over, and all the guests have gone home, a human being finally has no other choice. The brutal fact is that we are cut off from everything we were ever meant to be connected to. And what we choose to do about that fact makes all the difference.
“Religion is what the individual does with his solitariness” (Alfred North Whitehead).