Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What Would God Do if He Did Whatever He Wanted to Do? - Part 2

Are we comfortable with God’s tendency to be fresh and new? We prefer patterns and predictability, reproducible principles. We presume to systematize, categorize, and alphabetize the Alpha and Omega. We would observe God with objective distance and take notes. We would put God in a petri dish and from our observations we would reduce him to mere formulas. We would edit abridge and abbreviate the Almighty. The Bible becomes a manual for “tips and techniques.” Perhaps our hearts are in the right place but our efforts may be misplaced. All the while as we observe and deduce theological recipes and formulas we unwittingly prescribe acceptable parameters for the Lord. How good of us to show God his place.

We resist accepting God for his unpredictability while he seems comfortable with unresolved philosophical tension, dichotomies and seeming contradictions. He himself is the ultimate paradox. He is light and yet clothes himself in darkness. He is lion and the lamb; high priest and the sacrifice; servant and king. He is near as a song and distant as a sunset. He is peaceable love and a bloodstained warrior.

He is comfortable with the unpredictable, undisturbed with ambiguity. We would have consistently reproducible patterns of action/reaction. But God is out of the box if he does what he wants to do and may not submit to our prescribed principles and methodology. When he is who he is without our prearranged notions of deity, he is raw and edgy. He becomes unrefined, emergent, without prescription and blueprints.

Remember John the Baptist? The way of the Lord is made in the wilderness, in the yet-to-be developed geography. Oh, but don’t worry. The theologians and church folks will come behind and domesticate the terrain, develop, organize, build, set in order. But God, doing as he will, frequents the fringe of development and frontier, seemingly most present where things are just becoming – out where things are not-yet, still unpredictable – wilderness.

The wilderness prescribes nothing for God, offers no limitations, does not disallow. The wilderness permits God liberty to be fantastical in imagination, wild with desire, powerful in his will. The wilderness can be an uncultivated twisted growth of tangled untamed that daunts more civilized hearts. But, you see, he isn’t so civilized. He is more wild than domesticated and the wilderness invites God to be himself.

Out of the wilderness he calls his deliverers. Out of the wilderness he claims a people for his own. There he tempers his own. His more notable servants he tends to bring by way of the wilderness: Abraham’s journeys, Moses, the children of Israel, David, John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul in Arabia, John the Revelator on a deserted island.

God seems to allow our buildings (see David’s exchange with God concerning building the temple - 2 Samuel 1:1-13) but do you think God rather preferred the portable tabernacle in the wilderness? Always ready for a move from one day to the next – unpredictability.

14 comments:

  1. Very insightful and thought provoking. God is all of this and more.
    Tammy Hall

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  2. 當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。..................................................

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