Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holding the Ungraspable

Yesterday evening was another perfect example of why meeting together in small groups is one of the best ways to do Bible-study, move forward in our spiritual journey, and to experience meaningful community.

Our discussion root was "Holding the Ungraspable", chapter eight of "The Unmaking of a Part-Time Christian". Conversation moved around the general idea of putting our arms around - or wrapping our minds around - concepts that are by their very nature impossible to pin down.
  • "It remains one of those logical fallacies - or non-sequitures - to first wait for evidence that is small enough for us to grasp in order to believe in God, who is beyond grasping at all." (page 94)
So I threw out the question, "If it's ungraspable, then how do we really know what it is we're having a conversation about?" That's when I realized I was in the company of insightful men!

David offered that faith was the opposite of the "I can do it myself" mentality. "When we realize we can't do it ourselves," he said, "that's when faith takes over. And the beautiful thing is that the person who does not rely on self-assurance anymore turns out to be much more secure. That's what faith achieves."

In other words, recognizing the "meta-natural" order of things (Nov 3 post) is a more realistic foundation for security than advancing ourselves (the "original" sin of Adam and Eve) as if we can supersede/replace/abandon the God-relationship we were created to enjoy.

Then I fumbled around trying to get my mind around the idea that "believing is seeing" rather than "seeing is believing". "We can't wait until we see clearly before we take the risk of believing; we have to be in motion - moving forward in some way - in order to steer our course," I said. "You can't steer if you're standing still. God is more interested in our moving forward in this spiritual journey than in our seeing the way clearly. If we wait for everything to be crystal clear before moving then we're never going to go anywhere."

Eric threw this out: "So you're saying that we don't have to make the right decision for God to be with us? That God's going to be with us even if we're going down the wrong path...?"

Pretty much on target - except I hadn't been articulating my thought process very well and the idea needed more meat.

Then Eric nailed it. "Maybe the point is that God is less interested in small stuff such as 'Do I work in this job or this one?' or 'What should I do today?' or even ' Does God want me to live in Brandon or Atlanta or Daytona Beach...' The point is that we live day-to-day in relationship with God, and that we follow Jesus."

We get caught up in the details, but God is simply saying this: "You could be anywhere, doing any job, interacting with any group of people - but if we do it together and you totally rely on me... then THAT's WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT..."

Nice, Eric. Or, as I said from my mostly irrelevant position at the "head" of the table - "What he said."

Peace - DEREK

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