In the Beatitudes, Jesus says the “pure will see God”. I always thought that meant those who behaved well. While good behavior would be a result of purity, it is not purity itself. How could I miss this for so long? Purity is a forsaking of junk that does not belong. It is a becoming; the concentration of an element. Something becomes more and more like itself, and less and less like other things. That’s a “pure” person, and to THAT person, God becomes visible.
I want to see God.
Alick says: Every man has something to refuse. Make a choice. Look ahead/count the cost/take action…and ask, “what will I keep?”
Hebrews 11:24 “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.”
The self-serving idea of growth, progress and achievement is so tangled up in my identity I can’t as yet untangle it from the “pure” motives of wanting to see the Kingdom of God established…for God’s sake. I want my name stamped on it. Being noticed, accomplishing something great for God is like my last name given by Pharaoh’s daughter. I don’t want to be known by that name.
I forsake the idea of growth for growth’s sake, (tumors should not grow) of progress because progress is always good (progress toward the edge of a cliff is not preferable) of bigger is better (bigger piles of stuff require more attention to be taken away from “pure” things)
Even spiritual “growth” is largely an impure concept. But these are the words we use: Growth, Progress.
We should speak of purity.
Growth and progress necessarily require one to somehow close the net gap between creature and Creator…otherwise it’s not “progress”. But I don’t think that gap is meant to be closed. God’s essence is too much, too expansive. God is accelerating away from me. My job is not to catch up to him and there experience intimacy and purpose. It’s to become pure right where I am, because he is no less here than he is where he is going…and it is only HERE that I can become pure.
God will always be a scandal. The Buddhist saying is true (just insert “God” where it says “the Buddha”)
“If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”
Thomas Aquinas said it too: “If you comprehend God he is not God.” (The Buddhist said it better)
David said it well:
A song of ascents. Of David.
1 My heart is not proud, LORD,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
2 But I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content.
3 Israel, put your hope in the LORD
both now and forevermore.