Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

In the Plan!

I was talking to a friend the other day about a Sunday School experience.  I asked what they topic was, and the response was that they had talked about the difference God makes in difficult times.  "When we have God then something good can come out of the most difficult times.  It is all part of God's plan."  OK, don't quote me, but it was something like that.  I remember thinking after the first part of the phrase  "YES! - GRACE!"

I remember being less then thrilled about the second part of the sentence.  I really struggle with comments such as that. I know, there is this thing a lot of us have about the power of God, and about the fact that for God to be God, all things must be under God's control.  If we push this to the logical conclusion, then all things must somehow be part of God's plan, even the horrible things that happen.

And frankly, I don't buy that!  I don't believe God "gives" people cancer as part of a plan.  Or that children are molested, or young father's killed as a part of some "plan" that exists in the mind of the sacred.  If I believed that ?  Well I would end up echoing the thoughts of C.S. Lewis after his great love died of cancer stated -  that it was not so much that he was in danger of not believing in God, but that he might come to believe "horrible things" about God.

I do not believe God "causes" bad things.  I guess the most I can affirm is that somehow God allows bad to exist.  Why?  Lots of theories on that one.  Free will.  The cost of letting us be children and not slaves.  But the point is that bad things happen, and God is NOT the author.  But there is one thing I can affirm.  That if God is alive and well at the core of our being, good things can emerge from even the worst the world can offer.  Forgiveness, hope, survival, love. . .

These can come out of even the darkest of times.  As Paul affirms, "all things work together for good (not all things are good) for those who love God."  Even oil spills.  Even betrayal.  Hatred.  Out of the worst can come the best.

I struggle with that sometimes.  I can't watch the TV news these days, or shows like Rachael Maddox.  Can't even come close to FOX - scary stuff.  It is just to frustrating.  There is just so much fear, hatred, blindness, greed.  BUT, but, when God is alive and well, good can, will, does, emerge.

Now that is a matter of faith.  Lord give me faith

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