I Quit!

I'm done trying to quantify, categorize, and define God. Lately, almost every time I try to make a definitive statement about "God does X" or "God isn't Y" or even "I believe that God..." I realize that I also believe a contradictory statement. And the beauty is that, as a good post-modern, I can live with that. I hate labels and boxes, but they're so hard to resist.

But ever since I watched Rob Bell's Everything Is Spiritual (I highly recommend it), I've been wrestling with the Both/And aspects of God. I've been focusing on balance for a long time now- almost 7 years- and that helps with a lot of things, but that was primarily about personal behavior and what God wants from us. This Both/And thing is about Who God Is.

I often find myself arguing in my head with Christians that I disagree with. I think, "But God is love and you're trying to make him hateful!" Or I get mad at people who focus too much on following rules or acting a specific way to please God. I think that I have it all figured out and that the way that I see God is the better way, the truer way. But maybe God is Both. And. He wants us to love one another silly and be forgiving and trusting and generous, but he also wants us to obey him and stop sinning and focus on fearing him once in a while. Or at the same time.

"I don't believe" that everything that happens is God's will. I believe that we have free will and that Satan is in charge of a lot down here, or we are. "I believe" that God's kingdom breaks in from time to time either through our actions- it's what we're supposed to be doing- or through his deciding to act in a clearly visible way. But I also believe that God is in charge of my life, if I let him do so. I believe that God is bigger than the economy and I don't have to worry because I'll always be taken care of, even if it's not in the way that I expect.

So, am I a hopelessly confused hypocrite? I don't think so. I think that God can be both of these things. I believe more and more in the mysterious nature of God and that he is fully capable of being two apparently (to humans) contradictory things at the same time. I believe that he acts in our lives and cares about everything we do and also that some things just happen because that's the way the world works. Which is which and why? I don't know. Maybe that's a cop-out.

No matter the doubts and questions I have, I do believe that I know God, or a part of him. So my human self has to try to make sense of things, even while attempting to let go of making sense of everything.

From Ch. 5 of Alice in Wonderland

`I ca'n't believe that!' said Alice.

`Ca'n't you?' the Queen said in a pitying tone. `Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.'

Alice laughed. `There's no use trying,' she said `one ca'n't believe impossible things.'

`I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. `When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.