Thursday, July 09, 2009

The world is not rational

...we're living in a difficult and dangerous world, and no amount of sticking our heads in the sand is going to make it any easier. Western man has tried for too many centuries to fool himself that he lives in a rational world.
-Madeleine L' Engle (The Circle of Quiet)

In case my post about worry seems to only seem to be worry understated, I want to assure you that no, this is not actually the case.

Rather is a turning in my understanding of how the world is. Certainly not in my control - and as I begin to live in this reality - I can begin to relax. Become flexible, plan but not in stone.

God is our Rock and our Refuge. Other than this, there is no stone to write our plans in.

A colleague of my Mother's life was flipped this week; his brother was killed after being bit by a black widow spider. Throat swelled shut, vomit filled lungs, no oxygen for 30 minutes, he died a day later. He was at a campfire when it happened. No warning.

My Mother and I have conversation after conversation about people we know who are dying, have died, are severely ill or some other tragic event.

But like Madeleine L' Engle, I and my Mother have also chosen to believe in God and that His love will and does out distance it all.

I have told friends on various occasions that one of the reasons I am a Christian is because the description of God's love and of Christ - in the Bible - and in literature - and in experience of many. I do not believe humans or this world (without God) are ultimately able to create a Christ who is so loving; it is because God's love is outside of our experience that I believe it is true. Basically we could not make it up.

Somehow growing up is learning to relinquish control, seeing a world full of tragedy but seeing also love hidden in the midst.

7 comments:

Mimi said...

one of the reasons I am a Christian is because the description of God's love and of Christ - in the Bible - and in literature - and in experience of many. I do not believe humans or this world (without God) are ultimately able to create a Christ who is so loving; it is because God's love is outside of our experience that I believe it is true. Basically we could not make it up.


Wow. I love this. Beautiful.

Meadowlark Days said...

These are lovely words. Thank you. It also looks like you've had some lovely moments with friends lately!

elizabeth said...

Thank you so much Mimi - I appreciate your encouragment very much.

Thank you also K - that you find my words lovely is a blessing to me.

Yes, I have had some lovely times with friends and am thankful.

margi said...

"Basically we could not make it up." I think you have the crux of it. We could not make it up. I have been reading 'Mountain of Silence' by Kyriacos Markides and he quotes verbatim from 'Fr Maximos' (Bishop Athanasios of Limassol) on love, on the Jesus Prayer and the presence of the Theotokos on the Holy Mountain and I get little jewel-like glimpses into how radiantly wonderful it all really is and that dwelling on this life makes us like little bugs trapped in dirty, cracked, upturned cups. Yet I do worry, of course, I was told by a very interesting monk at the weekend to stop and "live in the moment of what is happening to you" and it's hard.

elizabeth said...

Margi,

Yep. That's it. I read this book about 5 years ago...

It is hard to live in the moment.

We need God's mercy to even begin.

margi said...

Yes, it is a supreme victory for the enemy that we spend so much time fretting over the future and regretting the past.

We very, very much need God's mercy even to begin.

elizabeth said...

Yes. And I am in need of reminding of it on a daily basis...