I’ve had a pretty interesting week. There have been ups, and down, moments to celebrate, and moments where crying has been tempting. Fortunately though, I’ve not been reduced to tears, for me that’s pretty standard, but for some people it isn’t.
Why would I feel like crying? I hear you ponder (or would like to hope that’s where the previous paragraph leads you, because the rest of the blog relies on it.) Well when I lose at something, it makes me upset, partially because I’m hyper-competitive, and partially because losing just feels bad.
A competition comes down to a “fight” of one form or another in the end. Maybe you’re fighting to see who can run the fastest, or to see who can lift the biggest weight. Some people fight to see who is the best fighter.
Some people, feel they are so good (or bad and this don’t want to compete with others) at what they do, they can only fight with themselves. They see how heavy a weight they can lift, how fast they can climb, how accurately they can fire a bow.
Other times it’s just for the sake of competing, I like to compete for the sake of competing. I motivate myself by trying to beat myself. That’s because I like to fight myself.
Sometimes, we like to fight with ourselves.
We like to compete with ourselves, I can do X faster than last time, or I can Y that many more times then before.
Sometimes, we compete with other people, if you’ve ever gone for a run, and seen somebody up ahead of you, and thought “I’m going to catch them. That’s my target, to beat this person!”
Before it’s been about beating your own time, but as soon as this person in front of you, ahead of you, comes into the equation, it gets personal.
Jacob gets up and personal with God.
Jacob fights with God. He wrestles, goes down on the floor and struggles to pin God down.
He can’t do it though, and Jacob is so stubborn! He just won’t give in. He can’t win, but he refuses to lose.
He’s just so darn stubborn he won’t give in, and so he wrestles all night.
God says “You’ve done good kid.” Changes his name from Jacob to Israel (sound familiar?)
Yes it does, because the people of God decided to name their country after him. Israel.
What’s the point in that though? Also, Andrew, why are you talking about being stubborn? How does that relate? When people say “you’re stubborn as a mule.” I didn’t think they where complimenting me…
Well, being stubborn isn’t always bad. Here Jacob is standing up for himself, he isn’t being a push over. He’s saying (through being stubborn) that there is more to life then rolling over and giving up.
You might also be thinking “Andrew, what is the point in Jacob, now Israel fighting God? Who benefits?” Well, here is where it starts to come together.
God fights Jacob, and in the process Jacob becomes a new man. He becomes Israel, one of the founding figures of a nation, a people. He becomes an identity. He becomes more than a man. A symbol. Like batman, but real.
Jacob becomes Israel, ‘Israel This name means “he wrestles with God.”‘ This one night of his live changes him. He fights with God. It’s not a purely physical struggle. He beats himself mentally, he OVERCOMES all that would hold him back, and he keeps on fighting. He REFUSES to let God go. I mean come on, who says no to God? SERIOUSLY!?
Of all the people to say “no I will not let you go” You pick God.
Well that’s how we have to live today. Society tells us that we don’t need God to function.
We’re told that we should rely on science to answer all the questions. Don’t get me wrong, science can answer some questions, but not everything. Why should we trust in something that changes so often… only a few months ago, scientists thought they might have to re-evaluate the last 100 years of scientific theory. (Turns out they didn’t but hey, it was close.)
God doesn’t change. The only way to measure self growth is against God.
Bluntly; The harder you fight to be closer to God, the closer you get.
God is a gentleman. He’s knocking on the door (loudly sometimes) but he won’t kick the door down and barge in. He wants you to open the door and invite Him in.
Every time you reach a new door, a new barrier in getting closer to God, you have to fight, really fight to break it down, and let God closer. It’s not easy, it’s hard. The hardest thing you’ll ever do.
However, no pain, no gain, and amongst the clichés there is truth. Look at where you are. Seriously look.
Are you satisfied? I bet no. I’m not, I want to be closer to God. That is the truth of life.
You go from start to finish, with one aim, realised or not, that God is calling you, always calling. Calling you to move closer to him.
Life is not a mystery. Life is striving, and fightings. Life is moving closer to our creator.