Sunday, July 24, 2005

orbit

what do i have to say to you, silent reader, that is worth your time? very little indeed. but i have been thinking a great while about something a dear friend who taught a Bible study i attended said. it struck me as odd and took me a week to figure out why.

when we leave God's orbit and start circling around other things, that is when...


it was not so much what he said after that statement as that statement alone that struck me as awry. so i asked,
but i thought nothing could separate us from the Love of God?


he answered,
nothing can separate us from God's love, but God Himself is a different matter entirely (my recollection, not verbatim)


but what about the where can i flee from Your presence passages? if i go to the depths of hell, You are there. if i flee to the highest mountain, still You are there? what about those passages?


the subject was changed or dropped and never returned to again that morning. but it stayed with me. it gnawed at my grey matter like a rat with pungent cheese.

my problem with our leaving God's orbit is that it can be left at all. so the next week i asked,

if the whole thing hangs together by His mercy, can we really ever leave His orbit? we may be mars or pluto but we are still in His orbit, right? we may be circling saturn, but saturn is still in His orbit, is it not?


to which his wife replied,
you're still thinking about that?


and he laughed and did not reply. i said no more.

but it left me wondering. why aren't we encouraging Bible study participants to mull over the things we say? to question our theology? to ask the hard questions? to question our answers and analogies?

i find, tragically, that there are more folks interested in the status quo, in the don't ask too many questions or ponder things too long type of Christianity, than there are those who want to wrestle with the hard questions.

my dearest friend asks me, well what can we do? not what do you want me to do about it? but enters into my intellectual dilemmas with a, what can we do to change that attitude and that blows my mind.

i don't have the answers. all i have is more questions. it frightens me sometimes to think that we have stopped asking questions. that we, like the blind salamanders of texas caves have lost our eyesight for lack of use.

ask hard questions. you may or may not find the answers, but it won't be for lack of trying. the easy answers, the quick expected answers don't soothe me. often it's the hard, difficult, paradoxical answers that make the most sense to me.

i've no answers, only more questions. if you have questions too, know you are not alone.

1 comment:

relevantgirl said...

love this post. Love you. I like that you can wrestle and hold things like this in tension. Questions are good because it shows you are wrestling, that you are not taking your theology through a spoon toward an infant. You're chewing, mulling. Keep doing it. Perhaps by your example, others will follow, and will internalize their theology rather than parrot others.