Sunday, January 25, 2009

Can't sleep

I've been sleeping like a baby up here, but for the first time since I've arrived, I'm having trouble falling asleep. It might have to do with seeing "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" which is a narrative about the joyful sufferings of life, death and everything in between. It begs the question, What defines age? And more importantly, What defines you?

What do I let define me? Am I a seminary student? Graphic designer? Lover? Fighter? Passivist? Activist? Honest? Manipulative? Can I be all and none at the same time? I could either denounced all the good and the bad that is in me and say that nothing on this earth defines me; or I could embrace the good, bad and ugly, knowing full-well that God is going to use the whole of me to accomplish his work.

That might have not made sense, but I'm not going to correct it if it didn't. After all, "There are no rules to this thing." That quote (from the movie) may make more of an impact on me than most I hear from a pulpit or a stage on any given Sunday. We don't know what is going to be handed us. Who knows what hand we'll be dealt? Certainly no human can know.

My friend once told me he had one of his most powerful worship experiences during a "secular" concert. What does that simple statement say about how God works? Are we so blind and ignorant to believe that God only works through the church? How much of a boundary we place on God if we hold to it that only Christians can complete his work! And if you disagree with this statement, I very much welcome your response.

Here's a challenge:
How much of what you believe comes out of felt stories and VBS skits? Have you stepped back lately and evaluated what you believe? You may not want to. The thought may make you figet in your seat a bit. But seriously ask yourself why you believe in a God that sends hurricanes to destroy cities, death into an already unstable family, an economic crisis into one of the most powerful countries in the world, a shooter into a college campus, addictions to struggling pastors, hurts in any and every way to anyone and everyone with what seems to be no rhyme of reason. I have an idea as to why I still believe (and even why these things make my belief stronger), but I'm curious as to why you do...


  1. You have a blog?! sweet! Anyway-I think you make a great point about Christians believing God can only work through the church puts God into a box and attempts to limit Him. I think it's cool your friend had a powerful worship experience at a secular concert (I've had similar experiences) - and that you were challenged by a secular movie. It's such a testament to God who cannot be limited by ANYTHING man does and who can transcend and use anything for His purpose as well.

  2. Very moving and thought provoking. I'm blessed.
    Just that age-old question...Does God SEND the pain, or does God ALLOW the pain? I personally cling to the fact that God "allows," through His filter of Divine Love for us; the pain in the world being the consequence of original sin.
    Keep writing.

  3. In response to whether God "allows" or "sends" pain: I debate this in my head all the time. I believe that God ordains everything to happen so in a way I think he sends the pain whether that be from him or through the fact that he gives Satan power to do so. In the end all things on this earth start and end in Him so he's ultimately in control. But I definitely agree with the fact that pain is a consequence of original sin. It comes with our humanity.