Friday, September 04, 2009

God? Yes, there is....No, there isn't

Facebook is a great tool for reconnecting with old friends. I've been able to connect with family scattered all over the country and with classmates all the way back to junior high. It's been a joy getting to know folks again. I love hearing about their lives and where they are now.

Reconnecting brings surprises too. This person is married, that person is no longer married, this friend is living halfway around the world, etc, etc. Every once in a while you read something that totally throws you for a loop. That's what this post is about.

When Kevin went back to college, he was almost 30. We had 3 school age kids, but we really wanted to be involved at LeTourneau. For 3 years we were a part of most campus activities and got to know lots of other students. And it's been great to reconnect with them too.

One college alum posted something about his 'deconversion' that caught my eye. I don't think I'd ever heard that term before. This young man graduated with Kevin, then went on for further Biblical studies and then to the mission field in Africa. Since then, he's come to the conclusion that there is no God. He's even written a lengthy book about his story. I took a few days and read it. It was a lot to absorb.

This post isn't about him. That's his story and his journey. And it's not about trying to prove him right or wrong. It's simply about the things I've thought about since reading about his journey away from God.

I truly can't get my mind around not believing in God. For me, when I consider the universe and it's incredible vastness, I realize we are seemingly insignificant in the whole scheme of things. And knowing that makes it amazing that we are significant.

It's like the 'half empty, half full' perspective. From the 'half full' perspective, I believe that we are so precious to God that He created us to enjoy creation with Him. I tend to be simplistic.

I see the amazing changes in my life since accepting Christ at 24. I see the family we have that is so, so different from the ones that Kevin and I grew up in. I don't think I'm that smart or wise or good enough to have made those changes by myself.

A young man from our church recently told the teens something that has really stuck with me. He said, "God is so amazing that I can't understand how amazing He is. And that's ok because I wouldn't want to serve a god that I could understand."

In her book The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom tells of an event that took place when she was 10 or 12 years old as she traveled with her father on a train from Amsterdam to Haarlem. She had stumbled upon a poem that had the words "sex sin" among its lines:

And so, seated next to Father in the train compartment, I suddenly asked, "Father, what is sex sin? "He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but, to my surprise, he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads, and set it on the floor. "Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?" he asked. I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning. "It's too heavy," I said. "Yes," he said. "And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It's the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you." And I was satisfied. More than satisfied—wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions; for now, I was content to leave them in my father's keeping.

God is mysterious not simply because he is God, but because we are children. And in his love our childhood is protected. We should view both childhood and God's mysteries as a source of wonder and even comfort; there is a creator and we are among the created. There are answers to all things safely in our father's keeping.


Anonymous said...

Ruth, this is probably my favorite blog post of all time! Thank you for putting my thoughts into words.

I, too, have witnessed friends going through the "deconversion" process and wondered how that is possible.

I, too, prefer a loving Father in Heaven to carry what I'm not yet able to carry.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why I'm listed as "Anonymous" now, but the above comment was made by Nina Black.

Jaime said...

That was very well written, Mom. And I really like the story about Corrie Ten Boom and her dad. I like his answer.

About Me

My photo
Longview, Texas
In the autumn of my life, I am very content.