Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Jim Martin, at A Place for the God-Hungry has a guest post exploring the issue of “troubles”:

In the West the philosophical and religious responses to trouble or adversity vary widely along a continuum from trouble as punishment to trouble as completely absurd. Even going so far as to deny the very existence of trouble as something real (it’s just a figment of human imagination) is one proposed answer to the issue. I tend to place this approach into the irresponsible or even irrational column even though a great deal of humanity takes this view in professing some form of Buddhist, Taoist or Hindu faith. And millions spend their lives at least giving lip service to denying or trying to deny this simple, common sense observation that—to be human is to be pressed by troubles.

We ignore troubles to our own peril. We redefine them supposedly out of existence, again to our own peril. We drown them with chemicals to our own peril. We defy them as absurd with existential hubris to our own peril. In this world you will have trouble, Jesus said. No denial or defiance here. His answer was simple: Take heart for I have overcome the world.

<idle musing>
So simple. We will have trouble, but Jesus says he has already overcome it. We participate by faith; how absurd in the world's eyes. Typical of God, isn't it? He takes the despised things and makes them his.

I have always like the line in the Lord of the Rings (the books!) where Gandalf says something like, “Who of the wise would have foreseen it? Or, if they are truly wise would have expected to.” But, human hubris knows no bounds; the Not invented here (NIH) syndrome blinds us and makes us dumb.
</idle musing>

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