I’m peering at the rain through my modern double glazed windows as it falls lightly upon the weather beaten grass in my backyard. throughout my thought process I wondered about all our ancestors generations before us. What were their struggles living in a culture then considered a modern world? Every era has it’s ups and downs doesn’t it?
Suddenly, as without warning, my brain set sail in the direction of the wilderness. Have you ever drove from the city in your modern car, left it at the foot of the mountainside and walked until the modern world was no longer visible? There is a sort of strange feeling one gets that cannot be compared with the same feeling as coming into a big win when backing the right horse. Just as money itself can be counterfeit, I do believe emotions can behave in much the same way.
The happiness we feel at the sight of another’s downfall is never quite the same as when we are in love. The sadness we feel when seeing all of our belongings being burned to ground differs drastically to that sorrow we feel at a loved ones untimely passing. One emotion may feel like a true sadness, when in fact we are punishing ourselves. One type of emotional happiness borne of selfishness and greed is never quite the same as the one the love of a spouse brings. There is an acknowledgment in us that the one is synthetic, counterfeit while the other is more natural and down to earth.
When we visit the mountains or peer into the valley of green trees and wildlife, a transformation takes place. It almost feels as if we’ve released our souls from the prison of the counterfeit modern world only to arrive at our true home. In order to experience the real world, it is important that we strip ourselves of the phony one set up by man (Cain), a world constructed only to indulge in his base desires. It is the same with our emotions. The only way to understand and experience happiness on a continual basis without interruption, is to strip ourselves from neck to toe of our false understanding of what happiness and true sorrow is.
It may seem odd to suggest happiness and sorrow are somehow interconnected but I believe they are. I believe there is a sort of joy mingled with the sorrowful grief we feel at the loss of someone. There is a profound and deep happiness to be discovered in crying ones eyes out over the destitute homeless man. Sorrow, in its true form assisted by the Grace of God, always has a spoonful of joy in it somewhere. It is quite the opposite to the sorrow one feels brought on by depression. Hold that kind of sorrow up to the light of Grace as one does a dollar bill, and you’ll soon find that it’s phony.
Think about Christ for a moment. In order for God to save us, He allowed Himself to be stripped of all His garments and was hung naked on the cross with merely a cloth to cover whatever dignity He had left from the waist down. Where Adam became naked after having sinned, Christ the New Adam became similar to save us all. When we go to the mountains we become stripped of the counterfeit warmth the clothing of modern life brings. The same can also be said when we are stripped of our sinful ways and false understanding of every emotion we encounter.
The only way we can really be happy is be like Jesus allowing ourselves to be stripped of everything and nailing it to the cross. I used to say to people I feel naked without my guitar on stage. I’m so used to sitting with a guitar and singing that when it’s taken away there’s a certain amount of discomfort. I suppose you could say the guitar was almost a barrier between me and the world.
Have you ever felt similar with something you hold dear that was abruptly removed from you? It’s not too different with all those emotions we feel. The truth is we don’t want to let go of the fake emotional world we live in. We love it and the thought of living without it leaves us feeling naked, but if we just take the plunge and throw it all away we will get a small glimpse of true happiness.
To be naked before the world and yet clothed in virtue in the presence of He who matters most. That is what we must work towards. If you’re reading this and asking yourself the question I once asked which is, “How do I do it?” then read on for the answer. The truth is that you cannot do it. Not only can you not do it, you don’t WANT to do it. You’re like the man who sits and looks at the peak of the mountain considering a climb to the summit a nice idea, but you never put your boots on.
The truth is that you have to want it, secondly you have to stop relying on your own power for that is how the world taught you to deal with everything. You must allow yourself be assisted by the power of God. Only through his grace via cooperation with your will to get the job done can anything be accomplished. So what are you waiting for? Put your boots on and march into the wilderness that awaits you.