Glorious Disillusionment (Getting Free from Illusion #1)
(This is an essay I wrote for the 2017 Colorado Christian Writers Conference. A version of this essay geared to writers won the conference’s writing contest that year in the Published Writers-Prose category.)
What would you say if I told you God wants you to be disillusioned? Or even that God himself wants to disillusion you? And that he wants me, you, all of us, to bring about a whole lot of disillusionment? It sounds cold, uncaring, mean, cruel, even hateful.
But for a Christ-follower, that’s the calling. The Spirit of God opens our eyes out of the vast sleep of the world, out of the dreams born in darkness, the delusions of human grandeur, the illusions of this upside-down world. And he begins to show us how he sees us, how he sees the world, how everything must be turned upside down in order to be set right side up.
The Light of the World who, in his earthly life, was accused of being a magician, an illusionist – he shines a light on the illusions people spend decades leaning on; he kicks them out from under us, then catches us when we fall. And the act of falling into God’s arms, letting our hearts be caught by the great fisherman of Galilee, is the truth that opens our eyes and starts the process of freeing us from the world’s layer upon layer of illusion – the process of glorious disillusionment.
And the more disillusioned you become, the happier you are. The more the joy of disillusionment sets in, the more the wild taste of freedom on your tongue is spoken out to the world. You delight in being among the last who are first, numbered with the least who are greatest – the disillusioned fools who are full of light. You delight in leading others by serving them – serving up fresh words of truth that will help others become disillusioned like you. You prospect for the fool’s gold the world treasures, and exchange it for real gold, the treasure God stores in the hearts of all who love truth.
You recognize that your job is to speak words that rob people of their strength and restore them with the weakness of truth, not heavy like their old egotistical arguments, but lighter than air, light as sunlight on spring leaves. Your assignment is to steal the junk food right out from under the faces of hungry people, yank the food right out of their mouths, and feed them the richest, tastiest, most nourishing cuisine they’ve ever imagined. And you do it all with a grin on your face, like a burglar who breaks into people’s homes to pile riches on their floors.
You’re a trickster for God. You’re a warrior who uses the sword of the Spirit to carve God’s initials in the walls of people’s lives. You’re a tattoo artist who decorates people’s skin with the words of life. You’re a hunter who finds the prey and gives them new life in the forests of heaven. You’re called to pull rabbits out of hats, to give God’s answer to questions people haven’t known how to ask. You’re called by the Master to be a master disillusionist. Congratulations! You’re a fool for Christ, a victim and perpetrator of God’s own work of glorious disillusionment.