I was a son without respite. I was a parent without respite. I am a grandparent with respite. Respite makes a difference. The absence of always doing for a reason makes a difference. The removal of obligation changes me. It is “quality me” and nothing to do with “quality time” (I think). More that the quality me I always said I was … I now am.
In some things.
As a son I was loved and loved. As a parent I loved and was loved. But the relationship was a growing one. There was a purpose. As a son it was to be nurtured and grown independence. As a parent it was to nurture and grow independence. As a grandparent it is to be needless and unneeded. To love without reason – without purpose – without condition.
Is that unconditional love I wonder?
I spent 12 solo hours with the two youngest grandchildren yesterday. There was no purpose in our time together. There was no nurturing. There was no reason for that time other than love without reason. We could have parted hours before that. The morning after (the very short over-night before) was not with a beginning and end.
It was an add-on to the overnight.
It was a bring them back when you want.
It was a call in the early afternoon:
“When are you bringing them back?”
I have spent many decades trying to “get” God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. More and more I wonder if God Soft Hands Jesus is my “all”. The best of “God without reason”. Or more accurately:
Love without reason.
Because isn’t eternity a place where time has no beginning or end … When there is no must in either am or pm … When nurturing isn’t the reason …. When love without reason is the ONLY reason?
Might that be close to “for ever and ever, amen”?
And are we so busy searching for the destination of eternity that we spend our lives looking out of the window asking “are we there yet … ?”
Might that be far from “for ever and ever, amen (are we there yet?)”
Is this God … ? Is this salvation … ? Is this forgiveness … ? Is this resurrection … ? Is this transfiguration … ? Is this good theology … ? Am I on the right track … ? Am I on the wrong track … ? Is God approving of me … ? Is the devil getting his claws into me … ? Are you, good Christian, my role model … ? Is this reading of the bible the right or wrong reading … ? How will this affect my saving … ? Am I acting out love “properly” … ? Am I loving “properly” … ? Am I giving of myself enough … ? Am I still close to God or wandering away from God … ?
It is being loved and loving for a reason. It is not “quality me” (and I don’t think it is “quality God” either). It is “are we there yet” love.
(and I only saw all the closed “me” questions as I was proof-reading this – what about you – what did you “see”?)
There was a book I read ages ago: “Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life – Richard Rohr”. I have since found out that Richard Rohr is a bit of a “God stuff rock star” in some parts of the Christian world. He does “spiritual guitar riffs” that leave one transfixed apparently. I just liked the book. My right time for reading it.
My GSHJ does that.
I can’t tell you your right time. Because I have no idea if you are still asking “are we there yet” of God and church and the bible. I never did. Not until after.
But when you find that “getting it” no longer matters as much. That being loved without reason is very simply “unconditional love”. When eternity is just a few hours without beginning or end. When respite from being a good Christian is desirable …
Then maybe you will be close to your right time.
Bible bit …
There is a bit in the bible about Jesus rising from the dead. I was taught it is a really big thing. The upcoming Easter weekend says it is a big thing. The church celebrates it every year. It is a “must have” belief.
So as we approach this Easter weekend, I have a question.
If it was proven beyond all reasonable doubt by the church itself, that Jesus never died, rose, ascended to heaven as recorded …
What would you have to celebrate?
“Other than love without reason.
Just like the bible (also) says.”