Saturday, January 31, 2009

How Kids See the World

A while ago I read this article: How Kids See the World. This quote is a good example of the main gist of it: “Healthy adults" know the sun is not there for the PURPOSE of keeping us warm..."

Here is my "sickly adult" response to the article:

The way we are taught to interpret scientific facts in school seems like part of a scheme to blind us during the majority of our lives from true understanding, to give up on the inner longing we feel that we, and everything else, are made for a purpose. We despair. And the results of despair are art, music, philosophy, entertainment, and at home: cutting ourselves, choking games (my friends played that in YOUTH GROUP), depression is cool... depression is not cool and I can't stop, drugs, suicide.

One of the most powerful quotes in my life, apart from God's own word, is the character Marilla Cuthbert’s words in the Anne of Green Gables movie: "To despair is to turn your back on God." I first heard those words when I was a teenager composing depressing songs and writing poems about committing arson. I was unconsciously responding to, and joining with, the culture of despair around me. As one who deeply feared and loved God this sentence shook me to my core, and I abandoned flirting with the darkness in this way.

Later, as a newly married woman and for the first time living away from parents or other supervising adults, I faced the disappointments common to my situation: Finding out your spouse is only about as angelic as you are, that the dishes are not going to do themselves, and that just because God gives you a job doesn't mean it will be like going to Disneyland every day. Life was nothing like I thought it would be. In the weakness of my character I began to despair. I freaked out, crying and not being able to sleep. Even thinking about people who actually had problems (like being poor, or losing a loved one, or being mistreated) didn't change my attitude.
On one of those nights when I was curled up, sobbing uncontrollably, wishing to go to sleep and never wake up, those words came back: To despair is to turn your back on God. I was instantly sobered. I turned towards God and he has been building my character ever since.

What sweet, fulfilling, let's-go-dance-in-a-field-of-wildflowers, happy news we have for our despairing neighbors: God made you for a purpose! You know that agonizing wish you have buried: that your life (and all creation) could be deeply meaningful, maybe even that God could be real and good.....well you can leap for joy's true!

If you know Jesus but are despairing, I give you this challenge: 7 Minutes with God. He changed my life.

(I write this with a general acknowledgement to Francis Schaeffer's and C.S. Lewis' clarifying influence on my thinking)

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Awesome blog, Anwen! Smart, artsy/musician people are naturally melancholic too; we're the people who bring depth and beauty to life. We seem to need extra help from God to return to the mountain top, but once we return from the valley, we have more to be thankful and appreciative for, it seems... Just my perspective; I've just learned a lot about God's love over the years and how He made me such a person of deep emotion and feeling that I understand in the scheme of things I don't have to worry because this is my natural bent...