Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Inner Ring

Every human has a desire for intimacy.   Even though it seems as if some people can be closed or abrasive, intimacy remains a holy grail we strive to find.   There are a myriad of paths that people follow in order to fulfill their longing for intimacy, but there are only two destinations.  Some may find there needs fulfilled through relationship with people, others might find it through their identity, even others could choose intimacy with Christ.   The destination of a person’s journey on their search for intimacy depends on whom they are looking toward.

            The Inner Ring is the essence of what we look for and by definition it means that people are excluded.  We feel special when we are part of an inner ring that others cannot join.  It is much like a clique in high school where different groups would sit at different trees.  We would have the Christian kids sitting under one tree across from the Mormon’s who would gather by the drinking fountain every day.  The jocks would control the center of the school and there always existed the emo kids who would sulk far off in some corner out of the way.   From a superficial standpoint these different groups seemed to be polar opposites but in reality they all desired the same thing and fulfilled that desire in the same way.  “Exclusion is no accident; it is the essence” of the Inner Ring writes CS Lewis.   Everyone desired intimacy and a sense of belonging.  To fulfill these desires they created groups and would exclude others in the process to heighten the sense of uniqueness.

            Obviously similar people attract each other and thus decide to affiliate.  There is nothing wrong with that; it is natural for compatible people to desire fellowship with one another.  The problem is the Inner Ring mentality where exclusion is the essence of the group.  The Christians sitting under the tree at lunch did not feel as if they excluded others from their spot but from an outside point of view they were.  Others would feel repelled from them because of the group mentality.  The Christian kids would flock together; they would only really affiliate with each other.  This idea of groupism, is similar to the Inner Ring, in that there existed exclusion.  In this groupism exclusion was subconscious, because it was the big group that made them unapproachable.   They refused to affiliate with others at lunch to avoid the discomfort of feeling excluded by the other Inner Rings around them and so sinned by excluding others.

            In this way the Christian group became just like every other group at high school.  They succumbed to the danger of finding their identity in human relationship and identity.  Human relationship is very important but it is not the most important thing.  To truly fulfill our desire for intimacy we must strive for a relationship with Christ.  Our desires are too great for any worldly thing to fulfill and we need something supernatural on which to lean.  Thus, in our search for intimacy we must focus upon Christ and our earthly relationships will follow.  We must also avoid the dangers of exclusion for the sake of being in an Inner Ring.  Gods Inner Ring is the only group that does not exclude and instead welcomes all who are weary, weak, and broken.

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