clbent04

Less than the Dust of the Earth

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My personal life experiences, observations and spiritual insights have led me to the realization of how miserable we are without God as a guiding influence for good.

Without God’s influence, we are incapable of progressing. To hear that stated is one thing, but to internalize and see it as reality is another. 

We are selfish by nature. Our ability to progress beyond our selfish nature hangs in a delicate balance managed and made only possible by God.  When it comes to progressing beyond what we are, we are fragile. Push us too much, and we will fall apart. Don’t push us enough, and we will remain incapable of loving others.

How did we exist in the premortal life as “intelligences”? The noun would suggest we had intellectual capacity. Maybe we had ability to discern to some degree. But what we didn’t have was the ability to love or at least not to the extent made possible with a mortal, earthly experience.

We did not care for our neighbors, we did not understand the importance of empathy, we were not our brother’s keeper, we did not sacrifice anything that wasn’t for our own benefit; we were incapable of understanding or even being motivated in that fashion.  We were self-serving.  That is our true nature absent of God.

We give glory to God because despite us being miserably hopeless on our own, it was His wisdom and intervention that made possible our progression.  He is our Eternal Anchor of Hope, our Heavenly North Star, and our only hope for rising above a state of nothingness; that is why we must or eventually be compelled to give glory to God, for anything we become beyond nothing is due to Him.

For God to have organized us and created this vacuum where mankind has survived and thrived for as long as it has requires the greatest delicate touch beyond what we could imagine. 

Left to our own devices, we would have self-imploded and destroyed ourselves long ago. How do I know this? Because mankind has barely been able to survive this long even with God being as present as He is.

Our self-sabotaging nature continues to spawn wars, murder, prostitution, sex trafficking, genocide, corruption, and abuse in all forms.  These acts are evidence of our self-serving nature, a nature that even the most righteous among us is susceptible to.  Our inherent nature of selfishness is just as alive today as it always has been even though the world’s landscape may appear to have changed over time. 

Selfishness is apparent on many levels even outside the common examples we would think of like theft or greed.  Loving only those within your inner circles or those who provide some type of benefit in return for your love is selfish. Primarily focusing your life efforts on building a nest egg for solely you and your family is selfish if not shortsighted at best.

Should we feel guilt for not being more advanced in our ability to love?  I don’t think so. How developed we are in our ability to love is merely a snapshot of where we are on our individual journeys. Some may arrive to certain levels faster than others, but God didn’t design it to be a race; He designed it as a plan to give us all the best chance at developing love.

It’s a monumental task for us to overcome our nature and learn to love, but we have to start somewhere.  That is why God designed our learning in baby-step format.  God created the format of life involving spouses and families as a step in the right direction for our advancement to learn to love others.

Is it wrong to work hard to build a life for you and your family? No. But that alone isn’t the end goal of what God wants us to achieve. The goal is to learn to love, not just yourself, not just those within your inner circles, but to truly love all unconditionally as God loves us. That means putting others’ needs before your own including those who have no direct connection to you other than being a fellow child of God.

Ever since Adam and Eve, God has been coaxing us along to learn to love.  Through history we’ve seen how progress oftentimes takes multiple generations to build upon, just as chaos can trickle down and negatively affect multiple generations to come.  How parents raise their children will influence that generation’s ability to love.

How advanced should we become by the end of this life regarding our ability to love?  As much as we can.  The thing is, God never set a threshold because the purpose of this life never was perfection. The purpose of life is progress towards learning to love.

God’s design of this life is what we need for the greatest chance of us succeeding in learning to love.  God did not design our nature; He designed this life around our nature to provide us with the best platform possible for our success. 

If you think about how God designed the world for the benefit of our nature and development to learn to love, it extends itself to many insights of why this world is designed the way it is.  For me, the family unit makes much more sense as to why it’s the exclusive unit it is instead of us attempting to love everyone equally.  The exclusivity of the family unit concerned me before as it seemed selfish in principle as so many in this world are left unloved by a family of their own. I previously resented the clicks we form, but now I understand them to be necessary steppingstones for our progress in learning to love.  We are far too infantile in our current state to attempt loving everyone equally.

The fragility of our development of learning to love can also be related to our slow progression towards technological advancements.  It’s taken thousands of years just for us to reach this digital age we now find ourselves in.  Could the technology we see today have been achieved earlier?  Absolutely.  But we hindered and destroyed each other’s creations and progress due to our selfish nature.  Had mankind not sought chaos and instead always embraced living in harmony with one another, we would be lightyears ahead of where we are today and basic problems like world hunger would not exist. But our nature is not harmonious.

With the grace of God, we are swimming upstream trying to overcome our natural tendencies. May we trust in Him and His plan, and that what may seem like an insurmountable task ahead of us may seem possible to achieve with the hope He gives us, remembering that this life is nothing but baby steps in our progression of learning to love, that achieving perfection in this life never was the goal, and that God will guide us by the hand.

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