Summary: We have hopelessly earth-bound perceptions of God. Urges us to take God out of the box we have put Him in. He is far bigger than we can imagine.

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July 2005

The un-boxing of God

It is humbling to me the longer I live the more I understand how little I know about everything I thought I knew something about. Do you ever feel this way? I believe the same is true as well in the understanding of God. Actually, I believe it is true a hundred times fold or more. We can understand accounting, basket weaving or potato guns eventually, but fathoming the Maker of heaven and earth: That’s not going to happen. Not even a little bit.

As humans we seem irresistibility drawn to ordering things and boxing them up for our clarification and understanding. Many times mystery equals doubt or at least uncomfortable chaos. In seeking after God and righteousness we think it nice for our sense of control to have everything so easy to understand once packaged neatly for our comprehension. God 101. It may be nice packaging, but it’s a complete farce. The trouble is God’s mystery is most of what is His make up and it is not package-friendly. There is no possible boxing system real or imagined that will work. (Ever).

I am reminded of my daughter the other day trying on her father’s shoes. It was so endearing to see her walk around thinking she didn’t look utterly ridiculous. To her nothing was wrong with clomping around in shoes 14 inches longer than her chubby little feet. She was all at once very silly and very lovable to me. I think that must be how God sees us as we make up our guesses about Him.

I have no impressive degrees or coveted theological training, but God is Almighty and imparts His godly wisdom to all who have His Spirit of Truth within them. For me it is only just a glimpse once in a while, but He has shown me this: He is very big. As big as I can think of Him is not big enough.

Oh, how we strive to understand that which is mysterious and often fail to understand and abide in what He has made so simple. That is this: God has made a way to peace, and peace with Him when we accept His own sacrifice in human form as payment for the darkness and waywardness of our hearts.

We make many efforts to decipher Him, to understand His mind. We try to walk around in His shoes as if they fit us just fine. Take the dimension of time for instance: We are ordered by time. We live on a timeline. We only see things in that particular paradigm. We even tend to imagine eternity as a long “time”, rather than the total absence of it. But how else can we think when we have never experienced anything but living in this created dimension? Even in that small way we fail to understand God or the deep level of His mystery.

Einstein proved that the dimension of time is not only an illusion but it is even susceptible to being warped by matter with respect to gravity. Planets circle the sun rather then crash into it because the space around the sun warps time. And still we sit around trying to figure out God in our sweet, little time bubble bound by the terms: first, middle and last. Do you hear the clomp, clomp, clomp in His really big shoes that have no business being on our chubby little feet? Don’t our perceptions seem hopelessly human? Hopelessly earthly? If reverence, worship and awe replaced all our many preconceptions and wasted deliberations how much more pleasing would be to our Savior?

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