Whew! I’ve had a full day. After a lot of internet debating, I did go to see my grandmother in her new assisted living place, went to see my mother back home, went to the library, went to get my cell phone upgraded, went to the new Ninja Turtles movie, and finally I went to Border’s with some friends. As I told a friend tonight after all this, I’m feeling tired.
Which is appropo since I’m talking about feelings.
I’ve had a lot going on in my life today and I tend to think that when I get a lot going on, my feelings just go all chaotic. It’s one of those situations where you look back on a happier time and miss it and you just want to wake up the next day and have 2 + 2 = 4 again. Being happy takes a lot of energy really and my personality is quite melancholy.
I would also say I’m one to give too much credence to feelings, and we all do that today. A man might go home one evening and he just doesn’t feel love for his wife. You know what he’s supposed to do? Love her. If we all acted on our feelings, we would all be in trouble. In fact, most of us would either be in jail or dead.
Yet I thought about what I was asking. I was praying that God would restore some joy and happiness that I believe past and current events have sapped from me. As I thought about that, I remembered then what I have so often told people before. It’s amazing that we’re so terrible at following our own advice.
Christianity is not about a chasing after feelings. Feelings are things that move up and down. Christianity is about chasing after Christ. I fear too often in Christianity that we make feelings the goal. Don’t get me wrong. It’s good to feel happy and joyous. That’s not the goal though. The goal is to be like Christ, and frankly, we might have to suffer for that. Christ himself was not exempt from suffering. Why should we be?
If we chase after feelings though, are we not missing him? Is not he our goal? How would that work in a marriage? Do you chase after your spouse just so they’ll make you feel good or for who they are? Of course, this gets in line with C.S. Lewis’s first and second things. If we chase after second things, we lose second things and first things. If we chase after first things, we get both. If we chase after the person be it God a spouse, we get the good feelings eventually. If we chase after the feelings, we don’t get either.
So what am I to do? Follow what Lewis said about the Law of Undulation in the Screwtape Letters. I keep fighting. Heaven may seem absent and the world may be a mess, but that’s no excuse to keep fighting. Pray for this writer always though. He most certainly needs it.