Saturday, June 24, 2006

Not the Sum Total

If I were to form my picture of God out of the negative experiences of this past week. I think I would envision God as a "dispatcher". In this role as "dispatcher", God is marshalling his workforce with one specific goal in mind: to go into all the world and piss me off.

And yet we know, DON'T WE (?) that our pictures of God are not generated out of our experiences...except they often are. There is a disconnect between the theory and practice.

On the flipside there have been things that outweigh much of the negativity. Big things that will shape a whole community. I am reminded that while the church is certainly its people, the direction and endurance of the church is not down to us. Just as well. I don't say that tritely. And I don't just mean the church I get to be part of. We may all hold much of the future of our respective faith communities in our hands - we get to make choices that impact people and lives - and sure God is in that, but churches open and close all the time - we do get to make an election in that process whether we're part of the closing. What I am getting at is that the relentless purposes of God will roll on.

I pray that I don't get left behind as His purposes roll on. I could bear almost anything but not irrelevance. I can deal with love or hate, but not indifference. I don't mind not being significant, but insignificance is something much feared.

You see these dynamics in scripture in lots of places - people get left behind as God moves on. Other times God restores or empowers. In that sense experience does count - the experiences of those who have gone before wrapped up in the ambiguous parcel which is the Bible.

If there is one thing that my experience has told me it is that I don't have any options - not real ones. I get to do what I most long to do. There is nothing left to go back to when you're already living the dream. And so I get to take the bad with the good. I get to learn not to equate the choices of others with the will of a relentless God. And I get to realise that He is an exceedingly better bet than the whimsical and fleeting favour of his creation.

1 comment:

BJ said...

Yes, I agree, this post was a bit too morbid for a comment! I wasn't trying to be morbid - I recognise that I am a driven individual - I don't think I do it for egomaniacal reasons - I just care about what I do and expect everyone else to as well! I guess I was trying to express the (trite?) truth that ultimately God is the source of my sense of identity rather than my desire to make a difference or the people I care about.

I should say: if you think you are one of the people that pissed me off, then you probably aren't!

Oh and thanks for the kind emails and expressions of general concern about my wellbeing!!!