Sunday, March 28, 2010

trust in the awkward stage

Knowledge With a Bite V, by Nicora Gangi

Life is a little strange right now, with a lot of things growing and brewing but still more or less in an awkward stage of not happening yet. (I know that didn't make sense. Reading this might help a little, but for the most part you'll just have to take my word for it.) Bottom line: conditions are just right for doubt, fear, and mistrust to slither in and whisper, "Did God really say...?"

How will I answer? Like Eve, I will usually forget exactly what God really said and spout off my own interpretation of his words, which rings hollow in my own ears and fails to satisfy the question at hand. Desperation and fear produce a perceived need for control: I grab the apple and take a big, juicy bite.

Where did the trouble start? It started when I confused God's words with my own interpretation of them. It is idolatry, but a particularly slippery kind, because it looks so much like trust. It is trusting my understanding of God more than I trust God himself, the relational God, the One who walks in the cool of the evening with his beloved. I took an idea about God, or a word from God - something small enough for me to get my head around - and I built an altar to worship that. Not the beautiful, unpredictable, mysterious person of God, but the small, tame, digestible idea I have of him.

This is not good. Let me throw it away. Let me consider it rubbish, that I may gain - not an idea, but a Person. Let me resolve to know nothing, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Let me trust.


livingpalm said...

Yes to the Person and not the idea! This makes me think of the disciples at the Transfiguration, wanting to build a shrine to the ecstasy of the moment. To capture, under glass, the glory of the Person.
Also, it makes me think of the concept in "Life Together" where Dietrich Bonhoeffer's description of [what he calls] a "wish dream" -- our own idealistic desires that we place over reality, or our perception of reality. He says, quite emphatically, that we must allow our "wish dreams to be shattered" by Jesus. In this way, he is referring to our ideals in community, but I think it could be true of our relationship with God and, perhaps, even more so.
Press into Father, Son and Spirit, Haley!

Haley Ballast said...

"allow our wish dreams to be shattered by Jesus"... OOHHH BOY that sums it right up, doesn't it? Thanks Tamara.

I'm loving your Laity posts, by the way, and was also totally fascinated by the Sunday summary - it is always so cool to see how other people gather to worship! Thanks for sharing. :)