Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wrestling with a Wild Heart

John Eldredge's Wild at Heart changed my life in high school and college. I totally centered my identity around the premise that "my heart" desired a beauty to rescue, a battle to fight, and an adventure to live - which were the stamp of God's image in my personhood. I watched and rewatched Braveheart as the epitome of manhood. These three attributes resonated with my very being...then.

But now, I'm not sure that John had it all figured out after all. Yes, God did rescue His Bride - the Church. Yes, God did defeat sin and death. But I'm not sure if rescuing a beauty or fighting a war are the very nature of God. Which means, I'm not sure if they're really the innermost attributes of my character. I watched Braveheart one too many times, I suppose. William Wallace seems more motivated by revenge than he does by some ultimate Goodness. That doesn't resonate with me, and surely does not reflect the character of God. The more I learn about God, the less I feel that fighting a battle is a part of His character. The idea that God's mission to reconcile the world to Himself translates into my desire to rescue a woman just doesn't seem logically connected anymore. Plus, why would a woman need rescued? Christ has already rescued men and women alike. We all have the Holy Spirit!

But what about adventure? Where can I stand on this issue? I really don't think God just looks around seeking some adventure to live. But, at the same time, there still seems to be some truth to this within me. I don't know that I would call it "adventure" though. I mean, I do love the adventure, but I think what us men (and women too, I'm sure) are really looking for is telos - a purpose in life. Why did God create me? Why do I have these certain skills? What am I supposed to be good at? How can I make a difference?

It is in this place that I am wrestling my wild heart. I had for a long time tried to find my worth in the easily accessible world of video games. But now, after a long time of God speaking to me, I am three-weeks into a life without solo campaigns, team deathmatches, and achievement points. And now, I am realizing that I was hoping to find my worth in that world. Ranking up, unlocking new items, and being respected by my opponents were important to me. I wanted other people to know that I was good at these games.

But now I am here, in the real world, outside of all the fame and glory Xbox Live has to offer. I'm still searching for an outlet for my desire to be good. Do I need the affirmation and respect of others? Maybe a little. But that's not the main point. I want to find a place where I can use my gifts for good. I want to be challenged. I want to make a difference. I want people to grow closer to Christ because God is using me. I desire to lead. I long to preach and teach.

So this is where I am, wrestling with my wild heart...trying to follow Jesus, but still trying to figure out how to respond to his leading.

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