Where do I even begin? Had I been selected, I would have had to commit twenty years to the Indian armed forces. It was the very next year that my father had the opportunity to move to Canada. My brother and I moved there as the first installment, and the rest of them followed. It was there I was in business school and God redirected my paths to theological training.
It was there that I met Margie; there my whole life changed. The rest is history. Thankfully, our disappointments matter to God, and He has a way of taking even some of the bitterest moments we go through and making them into something of great significance in our life. Not one of us wants that thread when it is being woven in.
You will worship me on that mountain. Regarding our disappointments, there are two critical points I want to make before I get into the heart of my response. I hope this response will become meaningful for many of you as it was for me. The first thing is this: when you speak of disappointment, it is impossible to think of it outside of the philosophical issue of suffering itself.
Despair, for some, is not a moment—it is a way of life. I remember reading the story of a well-known baseball umpire at the peak of his career. Everything was seemingly going well. Over the years I have discovered that pain, like despair, comes not in one package or one expression but in different measures and spares nobody. In the process it shapes us uniquely.
Cultural Anthropology/Ritual and Religion - Wikibooks, open books for an open world
It runs something like this: the philosophical problem is actually far more intense than the skeptic actually thinks it is. The philosophical problem, or the problem of pain, is actually more complex and complicated than the philosopher actually thinks it is when he or she raises the question. Their biggest problem is the problem of evil. How can God allow all of this? In fact, Harris actually showed his true colors in an interview with The Sun magazine in September I think more people are dying as a result of our religious myths than as a result of any other ideology.
Because one must question the questioner. What is their question? Now you may question the last jump: why do you actually need a moral law giver if you have a moral law? The answer is because the questioner and the issue he or she questions always involve the essential value of a person. That is, you can never talk of morality in abstraction. Persons are implicit to the question and the object of the question. In a nutshell, positing a moral law without a moral law giver would be equivalent to raising the question of evil without a questioner.
So you cannot have a moral law unless the moral law itself is intrinsically woven into personhood, which means it demands an intrinsically worthy person if the moral law itself is valued. And that person can only be God. You see, most people end in despair not from disappointment through pain but disappointment with pleasure. The loneliest moment in life is when you have just experienced what you thought would deliver the ultimate—and it has let you down.
At the end of his life, he sent for a minister and admitted that only Christ was big enough to forgive his sin. This was the definitive man on sensuality. Thus, the question is far more complex philosophically and experientially. So where do we find some answers?
By way of introduction, let me suggest that we must put our own disappointments in balance. I have seen so much as I travel, and I think we, particularly in the West, are spoiled. That is, we take up issue with God about a cold. Now I understand that colds can be horrible, but while people are being martyred in the Middle East for the sake of the Gospel, we need to put our problems a little more in perspective. When I was finishing writing my book, I went to the kitchen early in the morning to make myself a cup of coffee.
All of a sudden I heard some crunching. My daughter was visiting us and she brought her puppy. The previous night, in front of the kids, I presented my wife, Margie, with a necklace I bought overseas of semiprecious and precious stones and zircons. The colors were so beautiful that everyone I showed it to wished I were giving it to them. Yet there was that necklace on the floor, and the puppy was having a ball.
Cultural Anthropology/Ritual and Religion
I started crying. When Margie came down, she was horrified and said she would see if she could find a jeweler to fix it. I was thinking more of somebody that could take care of the dog! But sometime later it dawned on me as I was mourning this loss that the previous night Margie had talked with one of her very close friends from childhood. But one can always replace a necklace.
So we ought to put our disappointments in balance. How do we do this? Every journey requires deliberate steps.
No, Buddhism is not a religion
I believe there are three distinct steps before the pattern becomes visible and the work of God is displayed. The first step is a commitment of the heart. Your commitment to God is first and foremost a thing of the heart. Nobody understood this better than the man who wrote those words, Solomon. Solomon talked about the heart because he lost his heart to many women.
- Curing Time?
- McMinn County (Postcard History).
- A LEAP OF FAITH;
This is because your entire spiritual journey and the threads that God wants to pull together will be determined by who owns your heart. Some of my closest friends are apologists and we work together. William Lane Craig, probably the finest Christian philosopher around today, was a classmate at graduate school. Norman Geisler was my professor and I know him well now. I remember once being at a conference with them and two other apologists.
Every one of them will tell you it gets tiresome. After some time, it gets tiresome to just give intellectual answers to people because life has to find a bridge from the mind to the heart.
Altars Against God
It was a famed archbishop of Canterbury who said that the longest journey in life is from the head to the heart. The problem with these atheists is that for many it has never gone into their hearts. It is all a cerebral thing. However, the work of God is not displayed in abstract terms. It is concrete. Here is my point. At the end of your life, one of three things will happen to your heart: it will be hardened, broken, or made tender.
Nobody escapes. Your heart will become coarse and desensitized, be crushed under the weight of disappointment, or be made tender by that which makes the heart of God tender as well. As the writer of the letter to the Hebrews reminds us, He is deeply touched by our infirmities see Hebrews ; Sometimes the Spirit and sermon do supply direct answers to human need, but most often they answer indirectly…. The sermon, no matter how sincere, cannot solve these unsolvable problems.
So if the sermon is not a problem solver, where shall we go for the solutions? Together with the Spirit, the sermon exists to point out that having answers is not essential to living. It is your heart in close communion with God that helps carry you through the pain, beyond the power of mere words. You might take the long way there but your destination is the same, and like the GPS, God calculates the way back.
The children of Israel wandered around for forty years. It should have taken six weeks. Wrong route—get back here.
My purpose here is simply to note the appointments God makes with each of us individually in the disappointments of our lives—both the threads that He brings in and the ones that He leaves out. That is where we will find the distinctive shape and imprint of the Grand Weaver. And maybe the whole world no more than five years if nothing changes. We want to solve it all our way.
- Homeschool Connect | Homeschool Connect Media Ecosystem;
- Trapped (Tales of Friendship Bog Book 3).
- How Much Does Culture Matter? (Cato Unbound Book 122006).
And so problems of five thousand years old, we are settling on the battlefield.
Related Another Way Home: Experiencing God on a Nonreligious Path Toward Home
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