Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Looney Bin

Some person or other once said that insanity is doing the same things over and over, and expecting different results.

I guess thats pretty good. But I would like to add my own variation. I think insanity is knowing what gives you life and joy and peace, but choosing the opposite anyways. That is insane. Just completely crazy.

And it describes me perfectly.

I know what is good for me. I know that God gives me life and joy and peace and renewal. I know that I am never more joyful than when I am seeking after God, spending time with him, drenching myself in Scripture, and living out my calling. I know that. And yet I choose not to do it. All the time.

That's insane.

I know that neglecting to pray or read or just generally follow the Spirit is bad for me. I know that to choose sin produces death in my mind and soul and life. I know that. And yet I choose death over life all the time.

That's insane.

What is even crazier? I already know all this. I have already had this observation before, I have already made this realization about my spiritual life. It isn't simply that I sometimes choose death over life blindly or ignorantly or what have you. It isn't as if I actually thought death were life, or that seeking other things besides God would bring me life. I know that isn't true, AND I know that I have a tendency to act crazily. But then I still choose the world over God, idols over Yahweh, and lies over truth.

That's insane.

I find it wryly amusing that I always come from times of great spiritual consistency or depth, which I am graced with through constant spiritual discipline in seeking after the Spirit, and then think that it will be a good idea to slack off of seeking Christ because "I feel tired" "I don't feel like reading tonight" "I am so busy" "Taking a break won't hurt, right?" I know all those things aren't good reasons. But I choose to believe them anyways sometimes, because, well, it just feels easier.

Its always easier to choose death over life. Which is backwards, and doesn't make sense. But I think its true. I mean we are full of corruption after all. Even as regenerated Spirit-filled believers we still have to deal with the flesh (Rom 6-8). I think the death/life cycle (or valley/mountain, desert/oasis) of spirituality is unavoidable.

Honestly, I don't ever expect to solve the death/life cycle of my spirituality. Not this side of Resurrection. Oh sure, as I grow and mature more and more the nature of the cycle will change, but I think I will always have the need to repent for choosing the world over Christ to some extent. Always.

To that extent I welcome my cycles of insanity. Its ok to be insane. We all are. I just need to be a repentant looney. The continuing cycle of choosing God and (to some extent or another) not choosing God when accompanied by a continuing ethic of repentance is how we grow. My cycles of insanity move me to repentance and return and even greater depth and love for a God who continually takes me back.

I guess its a good thing we serve an insanely loving God.

~J.L. Smith


  1. "a repentant looney" i like it.
    i'm definitely part of the insane club. insane.
    we can add this to the spiritual journey discussion :)