Lately the one thing I want – even need – to write about, I can’t write about. Thus, I have writer’s block.
I’ve been reading a lot of faith-based material lately: both Jewish and Christian. I’ve posted a few of the most moving I’ve come across.
If any readers have something you’d like to offer, please send it to the blog.
In the stillness I’ve come to observe periodically – partly out of necessity, partly out of circumstance, I’ve meditated on some interesting questions that grew out of my readings and ponderings, and prayers. I am not posing these as ideas or theology. They are just interesting questions that came to me as I pondered what if?
What if we are far more accountable for bringing God’s presence to humanity than we ever imagined?
What if the Christian Kingdom of Heaven is not a remote place to which we gain entry, or even a level of achievement we earn, but rather a state of affairs that we are supposed to create here? What if the Kingdom of Heaven is not a place we’re supposed to go, but supposed to build?
What if, for Christians, the “Second Coming” isn’t an arrival of an embodied Christ, but the revelation through discovered texts and historical fact that brings us to a new awareness of Jesus and His message and mission? What if the “Second Coming” is our coming closer to Him, and not the other way around?
Between 2005 and 2007, new Christian writings were discovered in Jordan.[i] The Nag Hammadi texts, writings about the Christian Gnosticism, were discovered in 1945. The Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish texts were discovered in the middle of the twentieth century. What if the “Second Coming” isn’t an arrival, but a revelation of information?
What if the New Testament miracles are as much about the miracle of spiritual awakening as about a healing of the body?
Restoration of sight, understanding; resurrection from death, spiritual awakening from nihilism; healing of paralysis, the ability to move forward through life and understanding?
The following index gives citations for Jesus’s miracles detailed in the New Testament:
I have yet to verify all citations, but as I went through, I was struck by the multiple occurrences of the same type of healing: six healings of blindness, two incidents of resurrection. Any debate on the historical accuracy of these become – for me anyway – moot. What’s important to me, because it was clearly important to the writers of these texts, is what they mean – a possible healing of what ails us, not only medically, but spiritually.
What if Old Testament stories are as much about our individual spiritual journey and relationship with God as they are about events?
What if Noah’s story isn’t only about a flood, but about the futility of seeking a world without evil, because we all are fallible?
What if Jonah and the whale is about the inevitability – sometimes – of performing a necessary mission? And acceptance of a fate that cannot be controlled? Jonah tries to be the author of his own destiny, but fails. He succeeds only when he surrenders.
What if the exodus is also a blueprint for our own personal journey, the time it takes to “wander in the wilderness” after escaping an enslaved mentality (to whatever self-destructive or narcissistic values a society may offer) but before being able to enter spiritual freedom?
This is not an instant process – the spiritual journey is as unchartered as the biblical wilderness, and we as modern individuals are as prone to as many mistakes as the Bible describes then.
What if science is also God’s way of speaking to us?
What if a timely fulfillment of God’s Will is somewhat dependent on us?[ii] What if, like a system described by thermodynamics, there is stored energy for God’s Will all around us, but we are the catalyst that initiates the release of that energy, like a spark turns wood to flame and releases the heat and the light? What if we are God’s catalysts?
reactions go faster and with less energy. Because catalysts are not consumed, they are recycled. Often only tiny amounts are required.
What if our limited physical senses are still not attuned to everything that goes on around us? We know dogs hear sounds we can’t hear, smell scents we can’t detect. What if we are as unaware now of latent energies and powers that fill our world as we were of electricity five hundred years ago? What if all sorts of undetectable, unknowable forces fill our world, and we are as incapable of knowing through our limited understanding as the ant is incapable of speaking with us?[iii]
What if for all the answers we think we have, we have the wrong questions?
[ii] My pastor and I discussed a similar idea; her position is that God’s will is not dependent on us. I don’t disagree entirely, but I think she’d agree that as a race, human beings could work harder at being facilitators (catalysts) rather than obstacles (inhibitors).
[iii] A friend brought up an interesting point: what if the ant is speaking with us, but we are incapable of hearing? Having such thoughts makes her a good friend.