I had a pretty decent thanksgiving weekend. Good food. Relaxation. Time with the wife and kids. Typical fare.
Of course, one of the things that goes along with Thanksgiving is the prerequisite phone calls and interactions with the grandparents/extended family. That’s another piece of the fine print related to parenting that nobody bothers to point out when you’re expecting your first child, the way that it will inevitably altar the dynamics of how your own parents relate to you, and reveal expectations you never would have anticipated.
For me, the semi-annual interactions with my parents, the obligatory reports of “yep, the kids are doing well”, discussions/comparisons of the weather in our separate locations, the attempts to explain just exactly what my wife does at her new job in terms that my parents can understand, all of it, eventually only serves to remind me of just how disconnected I am from them in the things I really think about and wrestle with on a regular basis. Especially when I turn around and engage with something like this little ol’ blog I got going here. Worlds apart. And that, I suppose, is largely a reason why I started this cathartic endeavor in the first place, and if I’m honest with myself, a good measure of the reason why I still blog anonymously (although there are others too…)
Currently my kids are pretty much obsessed with this video game called “Minecraft”. The gameplay cycles through periods of day and night, and so during the day, the player roams around the digital world mining for materials and building their houses and so on. During the night, however, the “mobs” come out, which are various digital monsters like zombies and arrow-shooting skeletons and giant spiders, all of which of course, are trying to get you. As the player is busily going about their world collecting and mining and building, after a while, you start to notice a subtle change in the hue of the digital sky, and you can look over and actually see the digital sun starting to set over the digital horizon. This lets you know that you better hurry and finish up whatever you’re doing pretty quick, and start thinking about hustling it over to wherever your safe haven is. Getting caught out in the middle of the forest, when the darkness descends, is not ideal…
Anyhow, this quirky aspect of a popular game sometimes feels like the perfect analogy for where I feel as though I have now spent a good portion of my adult life. A more or less permanent state of feeling like I’m stuck in the twilight moments, peering over at the vanishing sun, wondering just how much time is left before it slips out of view altogether. My parents, my siblings, the various people I knew growing up and going to church and school, by enlarge, cannot relate. I have ventured to attempt a conversation or two about 9/11 or the New World Order, but in hindsight, they were horribly ill-timed, and feebly transitioned into, and, yeah. Only wound up making me feel foolish in the end, as though I had only served to make the whole thing sound every bit as insane as they were already predisposed to think.
Overall, I have to admit that I think I carry a lot of internal guilt over the whole thing with my family. For the most part, they are all Christians, and it’s not that they don’t technically believe in a literal second-coming of Christ, or a literal anti-Christ, etc., it’s just… I don’t know. I don’t know if a lot of it has to do with the indifference that stems from the pre-Trib attitude that thinks “Well, we’re gonna get whisked away before anything seriously bad starts to happen anyway”, or if it comes from being embedded in the “corporate church culture”, or just a deeply-ingrained faith in the concept that overall America is “Blessed by God” and that despite all the stuff going wrong, we nevertheless are very privileged to be born into this country that is still so much better than the rest of the world…
In any case, there is a definite barrier there, in the minds of those who knew me as a young child, that despite all the “research” I have done into various issues and current events, despite all the digging into the scriptures to see for myself what God has to say about things, despite all the amazing conversations and insights I have gleaned from interacting with other like-minded folks who do see and understand what is happening in the world today, despite it all, I am still at a loss when it comes to even mustering the courage anymore to try and speak about any of the stuff I write about here, to the people I have known my whole life. I hate that feeling. I could more openly and boldly talk about all things eschatological and diabolical with a thousand different strangers, than I could with my own father, mother, sister, or brother.
The hardest part about it all, is that I struggle with wondering how much of their difficulty in hearing such things from me, connects to the ways in which I know my own life was not much of a good witness or testimony for Christ at all for a number of years.
Well… I really don’t want to sound too negative, or griping like I don’t have a massive amount of things to be thankful and praise God for, because I absolutely do. HE is the one who has been amazingly faithful, throughout all of my faithlessness and failings. HE is the one who reveals all mysteries, and shines light in the dark places. HE is the One who I know will ultimately show us the way to safe havens and “clefts in the rock” as the twilight eventually gives way to the fullness of night.
Thank you Jesus for your love, your Light, your sacrifice. Help me find the courage to reach out to and speak boldly to those in my own family who feel both so close, and at the same time still so far away…