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June 29, 2009

Frustrated with God’s Hiddenness?

Psyche Orual You are not alone.

(Image © Harcourt Brace Jovanovich)

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Rolley Haggard

The first time I heard Dawkins utter those words I wept with longing to embrace him and say, “my dear friend! God has His reasons for hiding! If it were safe for Him to tell You those reasons, don’t You think He would? Don’t let the cryptic and contrary messages of life drown out Calvary’s thunderous proclamation that God loves us more than life itself! We may misunderstand the hieroglyphs of life, but it is not possible to mistake His profound feelings for us when we deeply consider what He endured for our sakes on that obscene cross. Trust Him! One day all will be made clear!”


A parable for my friend Richard Dawkins, and others at the same waymark of life. (This is also a teaser from my unpublished work-in-progress titled, “Infinite in One Direction”) --

After long wandering in the vast, hostile wilderness, I finally happened on the Endless Road of Blessing that God had promised seekers would find if they sought it with all their heart.

Overjoyed, I began my journey on the road, and trekked long, satisfied with all things.

Then, to my astonishment, the road abruptly ended. Bewildered and dismayed, I sat down to wonder about this unexpected and disappointing turn of events.

In the midst of my deep complaint God came to me.

“Why are you troubled?” He asked.

“Because,” I stammered, “because the road You said was endless has come to an end. You had told me that it went on forever. Clearly, either this is the wrong road, or You have misled me.”

Gently He took my hand and raised me and said, “Neither, dear one. This is indeed the Endless Road of Blessing. But you are back at the beginning. You have been traveling in the wrong direction.”

jason taylor

I have sometimes felt that way too. People can talk about "feeling God's prescence" but what do they mean? I have never been attracted by Materialism as it always seemed to me a gloomy creed that produced unpleasent people and relied on incomplete arguments. And in any case if I was convinced of materialism I wouldn't self-identify as one.

However other religions often have attractive elements and often produce just as many likable people as Christianity. In point of fact, in some ways I would rather be a Jew and be able to combine religion and tribalism.

Christianity does have the trait of God coming down to sacrifice himself.* However I was simply never drawn to Jesus' character. He seems so harsh and so, well, Middle Eastern. Loving God is fine but what if you have trouble even liking him? And worse(and more to the point)what if you have trouble liking his Saints?

So a large part of my service is simply duty. On the other hand when looking about I can at least say, "Where shall I go?". Other religions either don't appeal to my reason or don't appeal to my heart, for some reason or other. And of course I do acknowledge that I am to some degree serving by default.

Maybe that is why it was said, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."

*Stories of humans doing such things can be attractive which is why I ordered both Firefly and Serenity from the library after viewing TV Tropes and reading the novelization. Despite the vulgarity the show often displays, Simon is a very attractive person because of his sacrifice. The Story of Henri Tod also is about a similar devotion by a human-despite the fact that Henri is admittedly a terrorist albeit a likable and unusually scrupulous one. In both cases of course it was about devotion to a family member which of course is what the Bible means when it says "for a good man some would even dare to die".

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