Did you say something about circumstances and what they have to do with the meaning of life??
I did. I’ve got a lot to say about circumstances. Unfortunately, so have many others. Too often they make light of other’s pain to support their own positive philosophy. They say ‘what are you doing under the circumstances?’ to people who have no possible way of extricating themselves from their situation.
The fact of the matter is that you ARE under your circumstances, or next to them. And I don’t want you to pretend you’re not. That’s not going to solve anything. You need to address your circumstances. Acknowledge they exist, acknowledge that this thing really is happening to you. That the pain, when there is pain, is real. When you’re real with yourself and with me you can begin to solve the problem. By all means plead with me to remove it. But if I don’t, then ask me what to do about it. Some circumstances aren’t as bad as you think, some I will remove quite quickly, others I’ll remove in a much longer timeframe, and still others I won’t remove ever.
Ask me what I’m saying. Ask what the outcome of this circumstance is going to be. I’ll give you clear direction. I’ll tell you what to hope for. I’ve had enough of that stupid religious concept that you have to stumble through your situation blind, not knowing what I’m up to, but holding on ‘in faith’. That’s not faith. Faith is, having heard me explain what I’m going to do, believing me, holding on to that promise, even when it appears you may have heard wrong.
Some people fight their circumstances in their own strength. That’s what you did most of your life and lost. Others pretend their circumstances don’t exist. Which is a mistake, they do. Still others say of their circumstances, ‘that’s just the way life is’, as though it’s unfortunate, but nothing can be done about it. They’re wrong too. Circumstances are actually VERY fortunate. They are the result of cause and effect, the way I PURPOSELY designed life. My idea was simple, life and all its problems are fantastic. Each problem is an opportunity for you and me to talk our way through to a solution. And the solution may not be to remove, but rather to use the circumstance. You won’t know until you talk with me and hear what I have to say. That’s the beauty of circumstances, they’re an opportunity for you to hear me explain answers.
When that happens the universe takes notice, time and eternity meet in a climactic union.
Really God? Is it really so earth shattering when we come and ask you for help and advice?
Mark it’s what I wait for. It’s the purpose the universe was built for. That’s the God-honest truth Mark. The universe was created as a platform for you and me, for every human and me to get to know each other.
Not for some religious, ‘let’s-all-worship-and-obey-God’ experience. But for individuals to be my friends. Without jumping through hoops or proving themselves to me. None of that. Just to be my friends. I already jumped through all the hoops. I came to you. You don’t need to come to me. I’m here.
When humans recognise they are best suited for companionship with me, that life doesn’t work as well without me, that’s the meaning of life. The meaning of everything. And Mark it’s not this religious concept of people being brought low, sort of like a punishment from me, and then finally, in the mess they’ve created, calling out to me. That’s more of your enemy’s lies about my nature and character. I’m your dad wanting to help, not the supreme cosmic terrorist purposely bringing or allowing pain to teach you a lesson.
Well God that’s often what it seems like. It seems like you watch from a distance, rolling your eyes and muttering ‘will he ever learn?’ as I make one stupid mistake after another. Waiting until I’m finally at rock bottom and then in my pain crawling toward you. It’s not a very nice picture, but it’s a popular one, and easy enough to adopt.
Exactly Mark! And it’s a lie. When you see humanity suffering, just a little, or even terribly, it’s not me punishing those people for their sins. Neither is it me engineering things to the point they finally give up and call out to me. And no, it’s not an opportunity for some Christian organisation to get a conversion. That’s NOT what this is about.
For the world to turn, and the universe to function, cause and effect must exist as the operating system. The whole purpose of the place, the entire cosmos, is for you and me to have a friendship. I don’t mean what you think of as church. That can be part of it if you want, but it’s not the central shape of it.
What I’m talking about here is a ‘you and me’, just us, friendship. Talking. Relevant to your every minute life. Not a quiet times and church meetings thing, but life. And a RELEVANT life. One where I speak to you about everything.
For that to be possible you must have complete sovereignty in your own life. You must be in charge. Else you would be a puppet. I can’t have a true friendship with puppets. You must be free to come and go from our friendship, else it cannot be true and real. In a world where billions of people are making decisions that have effect then there are going to be circumstances, not created by me, but by the combination of humans interacting with each other and with the cosmos itself. You treat a person poorly, then people get hurt, often many people. You dig a hole, someone may fall in it, and everyone else has to step around it. Everything everyone does brings circumstances. Often a complete surprise to those who caused them. But also an opportunity for them to talk with me about what I want in that situation. I like mess, I can help you tidy it up, and often, bring something beautiful, even more beautiful than what was, as a result. I like restoration too, if you’ll let me. I like it a lot. I’m good at it. So good that restoring and cleaning up can look better than the original. But you’ll have to ask me if that’s what I really want in your situation. Because I’ll never force what I want on you. You have to want to know enough to ask, and to keep on asking. How does it work? Try it. You’ll get to know more about me as you talk your way through each restoration with me.
That’s the beauty of it. The meaning of life is ask me. And each new circumstance brings the need to do that. But only if you want. Ask me what I want to do and what I want you to do in that situation. But only if you want to know. I’m not forcing you.
Often the circumstances people find themselves in are not their doing and they cannot easily extricate themselves. This is particularly true for woman, children and indigenous races. But even for you men. Pretending the circumstance doesn’t exist sounds nice, but it’s not always possible. It’s better to discuss the situation with me and to find out if there’s a way out, a better alternative, and if so what it is. Or if I want them to stick patiently with the circumstance and learn to restore it.
Can you see Mark? Circumstances, no matter how dire, are the result of people having the freedom to choose. AND THAT’S A GOOD THING. The choices they make throw themselves or others into situations that are good and bad. Circumstances.
The beautiful thing about circumstances is that they are an opportunity for you to ask me for involvement. Not to make you give up and ask me to fix the problem. Not at all. I don’t want you to give up. I don’t want a broken, beaten, wailing for me humanity. I want to get down and dirty, get right in there with you and talk you through each circumstance. Circumstances are problems to solve, opportunities for humanity and me to talk and work things out for better.
I don’t want to click my fingers and remove the circumstance or help you pretend it’s not happening and escape to your happy place. I want to talk you through each problem. EACH problem. Big or small. Irritating, or soul-destroying. I want to talk you through it. Why? Simple. The greatest possible satisfaction in the entire universe is when you and I face a problem together and solve it.
So, next time someone laughingly quips ‘what are you doing under the circumstances’, tell them you’re discovering the meaning of life. You’re having a conversation with me about what to do as a result of this circumstance.
Wow. Yes I think so.
If you like what you read and want to know more about these conversations with God, you can purchase your own copy of Mark Holloway's book, 'The Freedom Diaries - God Speaks Back'.