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On here and hereafter, and other more trivial matters - Jim Huggins
October 29th, 2006
05:43 pm
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On here and hereafter, and other more trivial matters


It's been a long and tiring week, but the details really don't matter, so I should just leave them alone for now. But at the end of the week, I've been left to ponder the following question:

In the Christian life, what's the balance to be struck between the "here" and the "hereafter"?

This comes out of my general ruminations on the topic of "nobody wants to be my friend, nobody cares about me, just gonna sit here and eat worms". A couple of thoughts have challenged that over the last couple of days.

a) Someone said to me, in so many words, that I need to leave the past in the past and move on. I don't agree much with with the speaker on a regular basis ... but there is perhaps something to consider there. Just 'cuz I've had an incredibly bad streak of getting close to people and having them move out of my life doesn't mean I should dwell on those past failures.

b) Today's sermon focused, in part, on the glory of the life that is to come. Sure, life in general here sucks because of the Fall, but we know that, eventually, God will take care of all of this when he brings the new Jerusalem into being. There are wonderous things to come.

So, how do I put those things together? How do I acknowledge the loneliness that is a part of my life and simultaneously celebrate the glory that is to come? I feel the loneliness strongly enough that I can't simply dismiss it. But to dwell on the present in the face of the glory of God seems ... well, ungrateful.

Lord, I believe ... help my unbelief. (I know I keep saying that ... but more and more it seems to be an accurate picture of my own soul.)


In happier news ... Jane & I kicked some nice butt at Bridge league on Friday night, and I got to see Patrick Stewart as the lead in "Antony and Cleopatra" in Ann Arbor on Saturday night.

In serendipitous news, I found that last week there was a celebration at the Computer History Museum for the 30th anniversary of the invention of public-key cryptography. They had a two-hour panel discussion which was posted to the web. (Score! A free two-hour lecture I can use next week in class!)

In sadder news, I'm fighting a cold. Being sick sucks.

Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
Current Music: Jim Nantz, NFL: Indianapolis @ Denver

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From:oktoberain
Date:October 29th, 2006 11:47 pm (UTC)
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But to dwell on the present in the face of the glory of God seems ... well, ungrateful.

Okay--being that I am not a religious person, I feel awkward responding to this. But although I don't believe in God myself, I *can* look at it from a philosophical/semi-educated point of view. (Semi-educated because like most Americans, I grew up going to Sunday school and learning about Christianity).

I think that if God really exists as portrayed in Christian theology (loving, personal, "involved" Deity) then He would not consider you ungrateful at all. In fact, I think He might even wish that you would open up those feelings even *more* so He can help you sort through them and figure out how to make things better.
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From:jkhuggins
Date:October 29th, 2006 11:53 pm (UTC)
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Your point is well-taken; I'm certainly not saying that I feel guilty for having the feelings I've got. The first step to getting anywhere is admitting (to yourself, and to God) what you're actually feeling ... and I may not have gotten that across in my original post.

There does, however, come a point at which one has to distinguish between the past and the present/future. There's a subtle distinction between acknowledging the past and living in the past. And part of the point of my ramblings is wondering where exactly that line is.

It's entirely possible, of course, that I'm OK and where I'm supposed to be. But the unexamined life is not worth living ...
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