April 19, 2011
Instapundit linked to this a few days ago, and I thought it deserved a link from me, too: He Plants His Footsteps On The Sea: Faith Matters.
God hates the quiet life, I think. He wants us to break a sweat on our passage through this vale of tears.
It’s not just world history that comes at us too fast. In our personal lives it is the same thing. We’ve barely learned how to manage the childhood thing (either as children or the second time around as parents) when puberty hits and adolescence is upon us. Adulthood, midlife and old age all crowd in on us before we are quite ready. Personal crises and decision points don’t come when they are convenient or when we have scheduled some down time to be able to take them calmly and in order.
We’d like to manage life elegantly and smoothly. We’d like the time to consider every challenge and decision carefully, weigh the odds, and then act calmly and deliberately. God doesn’t seem to want that to happen. He keeps throwing us into the deep end of the pool when we still aren’t sure we can swim without water wings; he wants us out in the Tour de France when we still miss our training wheels.
God seems to believe in keeping it real. He wants us to face challenges that are bigger than anything we know, more complicated than we can figure out, and so dangerous and all encompassing that we are forced to develop our gifts and our characters to the highest possible degree. He wants us to ‘be all that we can be’, and he won’t take anything less.
And finally, says the Holy Week story, God shares. He rides Hell’s roller coaster of personal, political and economic uncertainty with us. He knows the failure and the pain that comes with real life in a real world. He does not answer our questions about evil and suffering with a series of propositions. He answers us with a presence, his, in the middle of it all.
How many unnecessary problems have been caused by people trying to prevent change?
You should definitely read the whole thing.
A somewhat related essay (well, it provoked a similar response in me): Be Ye Perfect.
If you want to be “perfect” – not in the abstract, not as some shiny, stainless steel composite of John Keats, Brad Pitt, Albert Einstein, and Gordon B. Hinckley, but as the Father is perfect – then you must be complete in the same way that the Father is complete.
The Father is “complete” because he is not “partial.”
To be like him, you must love completely. You must love not just your friends but even (especially) your enemies. You must love not just the just but the unjust. You must make your sun shine on all. You must make your skies rain on everyone.