Sunday, October 19, 2014

Majoring on Minors

There was a lady that used to come to my house when I was growing up; she came ever three months and got my mom to perm her hair. 

I never saw her in church, but she had a lot to say about it. Most often, she would ask a question that (to me) only showed how much she DIDN'T want to believe, how much she was trying to pick a fight. Every visit it would be a different one. Or two. Or three.

They were endless. Who was Cain's wife? Did Adam have a belly button? If God's so loving then why are there tragedies and wars and stuff like that? Is God male or female? What about science and evolution? Isn't God just some idea we created to make each other behave?  ... the list would go on and on. 

We'd patiently try to answer some of her questions but it only made things worse; she was determined not to respond in faith but with more questions, some of which - quite frankly - are unanswerable. 

She was majoring on minors.

Photo "Ring With Stone" courtesy of Boykung at
I get it that people struggle with belief in God. I get that. I encourage honest questions from people seeking the truth. 

But this was different. This person thrived on confrontation and dissension. This kind of questioning wasn't designed to make it easier for her to understand the truth; this was to confuse, cloud and escape from the real issues: is God real? does He love me? can I trust Him? 

Just in case you were wondering, Yes, God is real; YES, He loves you; and YES you can trust Him. 

About five or six years ago, I met someone who struggled with the idea of a "higher power." She decided that her "higher power" was her "better self" or the person that she was when she wasn't messing things up.  Now ... those of us with faith in God might find that kind of thinking inflammatory, or (at best) sadly uninformed. I wish I could have conveyed to her how badly she was setting her self up for failure, since the very idea of a "higher power" presupposes a power outside of ourselves (since with our very best efforts, there is nothing that we can do to deliver ourselves from whatever addiction - or besetting sin, if you will - that has us in its grip). Believing that "I have it within me" will lead quite quickly to disillusionment and frustration. 

In order for God to be God, He has to be perfect, far above what you or I could imagine, and beyond our human - and puny - resources. If He isn't ... then He's not God. Reducing Him to a concept or a part of ourselves diminishes Him, diminishes His love and His power in ways that I can't begin to describe. Experiencing Him, experiencing His love for ourselves in a personal way is something that can't be argued, can't be refuted, can't be described. It is to be lived.

I believe that God knows where our hearts are, and if a person is truly seeking, He will find a way to reveal Himself to that person in a way that he or she will understand His love. He's not trying to hide. He wants to be found. Or rather - He wants us to understand that He's found US.

Instead of majoring on minors, then, can we not realize for our own selves that God IS real, that He DOES love us (so much that He died for us!!), and that we CAN trust Him. 

That's majoring on the majors. That's the "Good News."

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