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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Beautiful Failure

I just watched Julie & Julia with my parents. It was a good movie. If you've not heard the premise, it's the true story of a woman who cooks her way through Julia Child's cookbook in a year and writes a blog about it. Which later becomes a book, and later, obviously, a movie.
After it ended, my father said he didn't really understand blogs. Which amused me a little. I told him I have one, but my parents do not know my blog.

I don't think this will ever turn into a book. I am a writer, I think that's why I blog, because it satisfies that writer in me that HAS to write. But I know this would be a poor book. Unlike Julie Powell's neat and concise premise for a blog, this is open ended and weird. :) Which is a bit like me, I admit. But also, this blog is not about me. It's about Jesus, or at least it's supposed to be. I admit I kidnap it occasionally. That's the main reason I like to stay anonymous though. I don't write this blog for fame. Not because I dislike fame, but because I fear I'd like it too much. I'm horrible and prideful inside. I don't want this to be "Pamela's Blog". I'd be more likely to make it about me than I already do. And I admit, I already do.

I've been falling apart, Christianwise, again. I suck. Bible study was canceled yesterday, because of weather. My next two Sundays with Lydia are canceled because of the holidays (she's off visiting family). So I will be suffering majorly in the fellowship category and must be more disciplined. I count on that fellowship to turn me back to Jesus at least once a week if I stray off in my own selfish direction. And I do. My beloved Lord knows I do! So I must be disciplined.

And I am trying. I'm practicing private discipline. I'd go into it but I think that's like telling someone you're fasting. I think you can tell people about revelations or benefits you reaped from a discipline afterwards, absolutely. But during, it might be like boasting, which would negate any benefits possible to be gained. Still, I am telling you I am doing something because I want to express perseverance to encourage any out there. If a Christian either appears polished and perfect with no effort, or like they're falling apart but are not turning to Jesus, they are not really expressing what it is to be Christian. Our successes and failures need to be both shown to light. We are not successful without Jesus (even if we appear successful in the eyes of the world, if Jesus is not in it, it is vanity, empty of eternal meaning). If we are failures, we can show that we still will try again with Christ-- or will turn aside from what He is causing us to fail in for our own benefit, depending on the situation.

Lydia and I went to a church last Sunday which talked about being victorious, but never mentioned the benefits of failure. Christ is Victor! That is Truth. But we're in a refining process of becoming one with Christ. We're not there yet. So sometimes our failures and fallings are beautiful, because they bring humility and annihilate our pridefulness. They are discipline, and our Father disciplines those He loves. But if you say that all failure in life is something to be overcome and keep persisting at an activity without first going to Christ and wondering why you failed... you might just be persisting in defying your Father and consequently, and justly, reaping the discipline necessary and painful enough to turn you from your futile course.

But that's not pretty or happy, so very few Christians ever talk about the benefits of failure.

That's not to say that sometimes, if not often, when we fail God wishes us to persist. In fact, He might use our failures to highlight to ourselves and others that we cannot do anything without Him. And then He lifts us up to glorify Himself. That is what we should all wish for; to live for the glory of God.

I liked Julie & Julia, understanding it was a secular movie, but part of it saddened me. It was about the triumph and exaltation of Self, that enemy of we Christians. It talked of Julia Childs "saving" Julie Powell. There is only one true savior, and He is Jesus. Only one who can save us from what's really wrong, forever, and free us.

"Whenever a heart shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away" That in 2 Corinthians somewhere. It's also a song that has been happily stuck in my head. And I remind myself of it, because so much seems obvious to me that seems to elude many others. And I realize the more and more my heart turns to the Lord, the more the veil is taken away. Not just between me and God, but uncovering the lies that hide what really is from those who, through the pure frailty and fallibility of humanity, just can't see it right now. What Jesus has taught me is that when I was given eternal life, my eternal life started then, not after I die. Praise Him, O my soul, praise Him and surrender to His love and beauty!

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