Life is full of paradoxes. For example, I recently read a post on Instagram which said:
“The desire for more positive experience itself is a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”@thinkgrowprosper, Instagram
At The Loft this week, we began a two-part series called ‘Everything is Spiritual’ by Rob Bell, and he provides a possible explanation of why many things seem paradoxical in our perception, but may not be at all. Take free-will and predestination/determinism for example. This is a concept that has troubled me lately but Rob’s explanation of this theory certainly helps. Rob draws a rectangle and a circle. He says “the rectangle will never be a circle and the circle will never be a rectangle”. However. That is only true in a two-dimensional world. If we take this concept into our three-dimensional world, it certainly is possible. The very marker he used to draw the shapes is rectangular in one plane, and circular in another.
The people living in a two-dimensional “flat-land” could only ever conceive the idea that it was either a rectangle OR a circle; when from our outside-dimension perspective it’s BOTH. Rob suggested that perhaps that’s what it’s like for God looking at our world. Free-will or predestination? “Yup.”
Rob goes on to talk about how we also only have a half-dimension of time (forward) and the idea that our everlasting God, as the creator, the Alpha and the Omega definitely is not confined to our perception of events. I’m so intrigued to see where Rob takes these concepts, but I’ve promised to wait for next week to watch the second half with folk at The Loft. If you want to check it out though, here’s the link to it on YouTube. It’s quite long but definitely worth it, even if you only watch 10 minutes of it.
I’m a big believer in the co-existence of God and science. In fact, every scientific discovery ever made just makes me think ‘wow, God you’re smart!’ and from my perspective only gives further evidence for intelligent design. Lots of atheist scientists in my experience say things like “well this experiment shows these patterns therefore, it wasn’t God, it was this! Aha!” When all that makes me think is “…and you’re saying these well structured and consistent patterns in the universe somehow happened by accident? Surely structure and consistency are evidence of a well thought through plan or design?”. Now, I can’t remember where I heard it and I’m not sure if I even quote it correctly, but I love this analogy: ‘The scientist will calculate the best route up the mountain and come prepared with all the equipment they need to reach the summit. After days of planning and hours and hours of climbing, the scientist will reach the top only to find God, and the faithful one – with nothing but his trust – there already, waiting for him.’. Rob explains phenomena like this much better than I do in his video, but no matter what you believe, eventually we have to accept that we will never know everything. I’m not saying it’s not worth exploring God’s magnificent design, after all, I’m sure he knew we’d try! But personally, I would rather have the eyes of a child; see the world with wonder.
My very wise, yet admirably child-like friend Darrel put it like this: “When you’re a child, on top of a bunk bed, and your Dad says ‘Jump into my arms’, you just jump. If you were older and in the same scenario, you would start questioning the gap between the bed and your Dad, your Dad’s strength, your weight, and many other things.” God is our Dad. He’s not called ‘God the father’ only by tradition. There’s a reason. In Romans 8:15, Paul writes ‘the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him, we cry Abba, Father.” – ‘Abba’ being the Aramaic word for ‘Father’. We are his children. He loves and cares for us and instead of going insane questioning his works and the fabric of our existence (like I was beginning to), perhaps we just need to be children. Jump into his arms; at peace with the unknown; full of wonder but full of trust.
Last but not least, I want to leave you with something my friend, Nick, said this week that has stuck with me. “You can come up with arguments, counter-arguments, coherent theories, in-depth studies and produce satisfying results all you like, but there will always be the possibility that they are flawed. But last week when there was just a handful of us, having a time of acoustic worship? You can’t beat that. It’s so simple and yet God was right there.” For me, that’s all I need to know. He is enough.
God Bless, P