“It’s going to be so cool when I grow up and get fired from my job.”
“One day when I’m big, I’m going to get a divorce and declare bankruptcy!”
"I can’t wait to get married and be widowed when I’m 30.”
Things no child has said EVER.
We don’t dream dreams about living at low points. When we drink of life, no one wants to spend it at the bottom of the barrel, at the end of the road, the place where everything sinks and seems to come to a halt. No person ever longs to hit rock bottom. But, if we are rethinking the movement of our faith and curiosity for more of God, then we need to also consider how far our theology will allow us to sink.
And for all the efforts we make to keep from sinking low, somehow, it seems that within each of our own lives, we still do.
What is “rock bottom?” It’s the core of the earth, the depths of a soul, seemingly the farthest point we can fall from grace. It’s the moment in life when a meth addict realizes that he hasn’t eaten in two weeks and is sleeping on the dirty floor of a cheap motel surrounded by 10 other people in the same mess. It’s the businessman who makes a few bad investments and declares bankruptcy, sells his house and cars, loses his family, and moves into an apartment on the other side of town. It’s the state of a soul after fighting for the life of a loved one, draining a bank account seeking medical solutions, and spending night after night on bent knees in desperate prayer for healing. But, only to kiss comatose lips goodbye one last time as a final breath exhales in this world.
But if we want to really live, then getting to the end of ourselves is really just the beginning.
So we define the bottom to shore up our theology, to give us space to move in curiosity. The end of the beginning is that our great God is good, and He is for us. He hung the moon and stars in the heavens, paints hills in afternoon sunlight, makes dying babies breathe, and absorbs brokenness on a cross so that we may become a new creation. If the lowest we ever allow ourselves to sink still proclaims a story of redemption, then even the deepest deep is a springboard for forward movement again.
The depths of emotional oceans, the end of ourselves, the roads that seem to lead nowhere, they all finish at the foot of a cross sunk deep into the bottom of a rock called Golgotha. And the man who met his end on that rock, Jesus, is the reason that we can all have a new beginning.
When that vantage point becomes the lowest we can ever sink, everything else will always look up. In dying to ourselves, we truly find life.