Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Thing Molded

Personally, I spend a lot of time justifying God to myself.

Every time something happens, I assign a value to X and Y in a frantic guessing game; an ill-advised exercise, in part because I don't even yet know what the sum of all these unknowns will be, making it pointless to speculate upon the value of the factors.

I am trying to break a long-standing habit, the habit of babbling inanely to fill the awkward silence that follows some inexplicable circumstance.

Well, I'm sure that nothing is meant by it. (By which I mean God didn't really mean it just like it sounded.)

I'm sure there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this. (By which I belie a potential reproach for God, not quite angry at this turn of events, but reserving the right to be.)

Is it a lack of faith, or lack of faith in my own faith?

I was given an assignment in a philosophy class; reconcile the problem of evil with the existence of a loving God.

Ignoring or at least belittling the weight of the problem, I careened frantically and recklessly toward a quick resolution.

Love was the answer. God created this universe and us with this built in self-destruct because of love.

It was an honest conclusion, and, judging from reading after apologists since, not incorrect.

But looking back on it, I've the same feeling I had when I would arrive home after an hours drive following a third shift at the Cincinnati airport. Too often, I would awake only after putting the truck in park and wonder how I got there.

Driven to reconcile God with evidence to the contrary . . .it is an instinct that has the force of corneal reflex in a young Christian, a fitting parallel, since the stimulus of harsh light prompts us to shut our eyes and self-impose blindness.

I am determined to see through the eyes of God, determined to put some positive mortal spin on what I see.

There can be no times When God Doesn't Make Sense. The fragility of my faith will not bear it.

Such a state of denial doesn't lend itself to calm credulity when uncertain times come.

But I am reading Paul's letter to the Roman church, scandalized by the exploitative plan of God to draw all Gentiles unto Him through the disobedience of His chosen people and I come to realize that if I were able to see through the eyes of God, I had as well be a twenty-twenty pair of eyes staring through a pair of coke-bottle glasses or, more to the point, visually impaired without any glasses.

I got hung up on a previously forgettable verse.

"For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all."

What was once figurative leapt off the page with stunning literalism.

I am subjected to an icy shock, the blank surprise of realizing that we are being manipulated to His end!

I experience the same speechless indignance of a pot in the utilitarian hands of the Potter.

So, I manage, It's all about You.

You just have compassion on whoever you will.

You elect, You choose.

Pharoah himself was not but a sacrificial pawn in Your game, being raised up by You so that Your name might proclaimed in all the earth. Likewise the Isrealites he enslaved.

All this is done simply for Your glory?

How is this justifiable?

Mightn't Paul have explained this?

He simply says, "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and unfathomable His ways!"

And I draw closer to the heart of God by relinquishing my "right" to know what He's about.

"For who has known the mind of the Lord?"

God, deliver me from presuming to know Your mind and from lingering distrust that always, always asks why.

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