Passionate Balance

In an effort to create a more complete blogging experience on WordPress, I’ve been porting over old blogs (written before March 15, 2014) from earlier sites and exploring my old journal folder for previously unpublished gems to include here. Most of these journals were written between November 2005 and the present (including the original 16 blogs posted to the first Cafe Latte site on Blogspot). But in scouring old writings, I’ve discovered some important relics predating my earliest blogs that deserve their time in the sun. In the interest of keeping my blogging history true to the calendar, I won’t be backdating anything before November 2005, so this journal, though written a couple of years earlier, will maintain the current time stamp, though I will still categorize it as a “Cold Blog” since I wrote it before March 15, 2014.

Edit: I’ve changed my mind. I’m creating a new category called “Before Cafe Latte” for everything I’ve written before November 2005. This will go there.

The following journal, which never before had a title until now, was originally written on December 11, 2003:

A couple of weeks ago, I finally finished reading the book, Journey of Desire, by John Eldredge. I had started it shortly after moving back to Orlando in September and had been periodically reading it chapter by chapter ever since. Just like the other two Eldredge books I had read throughout the course of the last two or three years, this book challenged me to walk in the Spirit with a greater joy and attitude than I had in the past. It essentially reminded me what God created me to be—a man with passions and gifts that long to be used, not forgotten. And yet, somehow prior to the awakening, I had forgotten these things.

Now it’s too late to go into all the fine details that I’ve been rediscovering about God, Genesis, and my own personal passions, but I’d like to go back and revisit those things as the days go by and this journal increases in size. But for now I want to at least initiate the decision to keep a record of some of the things I’ve learned about myself and my walk with God, and anything really that bears a need for remembrance. Unfortunately, there is much already from the past that I would’ve liked to have remembered over the years but simply forgot them (lessons and events), but hopefully as I relearn them for the second, third, or tenth time, I’ll be quicker to jot them down so that I won’t forget in the future.

The one thing I do want to write down though before I go to bed is an illustration a friend of mine shared with me last night about a rose. Simply put, a rose is most beautiful when it’s allowed to blossom in its own way and in its own time. The person that decides not to wait for it to bloom, but rather chooses to open it by force, will ultimately tear it to pieces and will therefore cause it to lose its beauty.

I know I’ve let certain desires get the best of me, so much in fact that I’ve wrestled with obsession countless numbers of times, and often made myself crazy over circumstances that threatened my desires to bear fruit. On the relational standpoint, which most people who know me well know that it’s the area of my greatest weakness and fiercest doubts, I find my greatest battle is to accept the very thing that I desperately want, which is for love and friendship to grow in its own natural time—not through fearful manipulation or unbending scripts.

I may have to go into greater details (as a reminder to myself) tomorrow or the next day simply because I need to sleep, but to sort of get the point out in the open, I’ve been afraid of losing any existing chance of finding a woman that I would like to love because of the constant threat in my mind that other men who have no patience toward finding girlfriends and such are hovering around the very soul that I desire to know, trying to dig their own claws into her, allowing me very little chance to grow close to her over time. In retrospect it seems like an irrational fear since this thing called love bonds close friends together all the time. But I think the roots of the issue go further than that, and they certainly take root in circumstances that stretch way back to the early years of my life.

Before I get too lost in this thought, I need to remind myself that God desires me to desire Him more than anything else in existence. Granted that is in no way in easy thing to keep in my heart because so much in this world distracts me. My own desires often turn into distractions when I allow them to take control of my heart and soul to the point of obsession. And yet a passionate heart risks that, so part of the struggle I’ve had (in this area especially) is trying to find the right balance between giving God my all and paying healthy attention to whatever it is that I’m panting for. It almost seems like I can’t do both though because often times the desire feels like it’s drawing a very fine line between worshipping the Lord and serving an idol. What may look like healthy panting at first, may in fact turn around and consume me. And my worship of the Lord, on the other hand, may in effect become contrived, dutiful, and downright lukewarm. Needless to say the tears I’ve shed over the years in reference to this particular desire has left me afraid of it because for all I knew I had already given myself over to obsession.

But then comes the great contradiction. It seems that when my desire transforms into obsession, all of a sudden God is both my accuser and my only ally. The accuser part comes from this impression that I occasionally have of God as the jealous lover who purposely sabotages my dreams because I’m dealing with them too intensely, or because I want it so badly and it just can’t happen that way. On the other hand, the ally part comes into play when I realize that God is my only hope for discovering any of my dreams to come to pass and I often fall on the floor begging Him to provide what I’m asking for—the very thing that I feel he rejects and sabotages. In any case, the brokenness that comes from feeling hopeless or confused somehow brings me into the very heart of the God that desires me, so in a way it becomes highly bittersweet.

And frankly I’m not sure I like that.