I still struggle, I must admit, with a certain rigidity when I pick up the Bible, a feeling that sometimes I can't see what it's really saying because it's bound up in past legalisms and human readings instead of seeing the greater spiritual underlying it.
I have just finished reading an article about being holy, and I must say it kind of sprung up a few things in me which I am interested in studying (a philosophical and contemplative turn of mind doesn't leave a lot of hiding places for errant thoughts, I'm afraid - although I'm sure there are still thousands of them that I don't see - but as soon as they spring up my rational detached part of my mind starts pulling them apart, showing them to God :) It's actually a much safer experience than you could imagine. I don't often feel like there is more that needs to be done at those times except look at them, show them to God. These days I am happy to feel a security in God, in his love, that I know he is my Father/Mother God. But a tame lion he is not, and neither do I want him to be.
However, it is easy to get complacent in my safety with God. If I was going to presume upon God, I would rather it be upon his kindness and fatherliness, like a young child with a great king, rather than cowering away - I can't do that anymore, he has brought me too far. And yet, there is a certain dangerous area that can be headed into, where taking a mile from an inch suddenly finds us in an attitude that says anything goes. Again, if I was going to err on the side of anything, it would actually be licentiousness, these days, rather than legalism. The latter is far more dangerous to me than the former. But I don't want to head into licentiousness. I don't want to miss hearing the voice of God because I discard the things I don't like or understand about him because they don't fit my paradigm.
I never want God to be anything other than Other. But I can feel the seeds in me which could go that way. I am nowhere near it, despite chakra alignments and foul-mouthedness, but still. I guess being aware of the propensity is half the battle. And praying stupid prayers like, "God, I would really like to have some sort of revelation about your holiness" keeps me stumbling towards him. I haven't had any sort of revelation, but I kind of half want to :)
This is a verse that I wonder about, from Jeremiah 17:9-10. My esteem for the Bible is undiminished. There is a magic and wonder in that book that defies description. There is so much in there that steers me back when I threaten to fall off the sides. Yet, these days, I can't help but be of the view that the Old Testament must be read according to the times it was written. I don't think they had all of the answers then. I think they got things wrong. I don't think casting babies against rocks is in God's great plan, but perhaps I am wrong.
So this verse. What think ye?
Of course, Josef Fritzl, the man who is horrifying in the news as we hear about how he kept his own daughter in a cellar for 24 years and forced her to bear 7 children to him, proves that the heart is indeed deceitful. Are we all capable of something like that? We like to write someone like him off as an anomaly, a Hitlerish blip on the humanity scale. I tend towards the idea that we are all capable of amazing atrocities. We don't realise how mch Papa holds us up in his invisibility, speaking not a word.
That is, however, not all of the answer. What about God writing his law on our hearts, giving us a heart of flesh instead of stone? Can two hearts live within the one person, or do you think this is something new that happens when one comes to believe in God?