Monday, February 16, 2009

How does the universe conspire

I had the joy of 20 plus years in a job where I was required to share my faith in everything I did or said. Now I find myself in a school where I am strongly discouraged from expressing myself from the core of my being. My faith expressions have to be compartmentalized into a cordoned off area of my brain. I must look for new ways to express parts of my philosophy that have been a great influence on what I have said and come to believe. Sometimes it is impossible to rewrite the answers to suit a secular world. How do I reword something that begins “I am a precious child of God . . .?”

I was working through an assignment for my seminar class when I came across a question that began: “How does the universe conspire . . .?” I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. I am not a student of the universe. I know God made it but I wasn’t there to know if He did it quietly or accompanied Himself with a big bang. I know the universe is huge, much bigger than what my puny brain can imagine. I hear that it is always expanding, but then again, it might be contracting. However, I have never been able to assign human characteristics to the universe. Does it really conspire? Can it even think, much less plan and orchestrate our futures? More importantly, why am I seemingly studying astrology in my Psychology seminar class?

I know that I am guaranteed freedom of speech in the classes I take. I have the right to answer that question by asserting that my Heavenly Father plans my life, but I also know that assigning god-like characteristics to my God’s creation will be somehow better accepted. What I don’t understand is why this is true. If Humanists want a world without my God then why do they keep creating gods out of their world or the people who live in it?

Guess what? Mother Nature isn’t a mother and she doesn’t conspire either! Although, it has not escaped my notice that I have had to work for every major snow and ice storm this year, so I am not so sure about the weather. It definitely seems to be conspiring against me. This week will be the test. Yesterday, after church, someone walked off with my coat. If the temperatures drop below freezing I might have proof that the weather is out to get me. I’ll keep you updated.

It fascinates me how we as humans live a life that is so insecure that we conspire to create a god while simultaneously denying the God who does exist. We have a God who is all powerful, complete, all-knowing, benevolent and deeply interested in every aspect of our lives. Yet, we set Him aside and work to create some other supreme and mysterious being who guides our puny lives. I used to wonder why the Israelites would set aside God to worship a chunk of gold in the shape of a cow but I see evidence of this same behavior all around me. More importantly I see evidence of that behavior in my life.

The calf – a craftsman has made it; it is not God. It will be broken in pieces the calf of Samaria. They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. Hosea 8:6-7

Whenever I think I am responsible for my talents and the opportunities I find to use them - I create a golden calf. Whenever I worry over my life decisions - I give that calf a place of honor in my heart. Whenever I am sure that the world needs me to fix things - I kneel down and worship the idol I have put into my own heart. If I wonder why secular humanists create gods out of the universe and why scientists create gods out of nature, then I must ask myself, someone who ought to know better, why I create false gods too.

My God is powerful and all knowing and He can and does orchestrate His will in spite of me and not because of me. It is a true blessing in my life when He uses me to accomplish His will. It is not the weather or the universe that conspire either for me or against me. It is my God who loves me unconditionally.

Abba, Father, Amen.

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone – while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Job 38: 4-7

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