Monday, September 01, 2008

Wisdom And Grief

" much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain." Ecclesiastes 1:18

This verse resonates with my experience of the last 10 years of viewing the world through the lens of "a Christian world-view." This view can vary depending on what is considered, but maybe I can talk of this through "my" view. I relate the world to myself based on what I know of theology, philosophy, law, various doctrines that are held my men, the human experience, etc. The more I have learned about the world and how it relates to what I think God expects, the more grief and pain I experience. It's not like I only look outward with these things in view, I also grieve at my own life. I should, shouldn't I? It's not like everybody else is to blame for everything, but greatly my own doing. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. The more I know about God, the worse the world and myself look.

There is also a realization that as bad as I think things may be, God can work through all this to accomplish great things. As grieved as I am about the current state of things, and as much pain as it causes, still I am optimistic about the future because God directs it. This doesn't always (or most of the time anyway) result in feeling better about my own lot in life because I know I can be a complete failure at everything I do with God still making the world a better place despite my situation. In general, I tend to be optimistic about the kingdom, yet pessimistic about my own life. Short of copy/pasting the entire bible in the comments section, if anybody has a pill to cure this, email me a copy of the pill. I know paradise is a ways off yet, and it will take a resurrection for us to enjoy it in fullness.

Life is full of bitter pills to swallow, yet there is also some joy. I cannot yet exult in my tribulations nor take comfort in my afflictions to any moderate degree. I often wonder if my problems are God's way of making things ultimately good for me or His way of calling down judgment upon me. They seem to fit both categories equally. Are my problems a result of my own stupidity and sin, or are they just part of the landscape of life caused by all sin and apparent random futility? I feel mostly as if I don't have the ability to discern between the two and lack the ability to know where to begin repentance. I often see how I think God meant for things to be and think to myself, "if they only knew." But then, if everybody else only knew, would they do what they knew to be right? It's less of a crime to God to do something wrong in ignorance than to do it with knowledge. Maybe I should be thankful that most people just don't know everything. That way, God can change things on His own terms without people thinking they had a large hand in it. Ignorance just might be bliss. I guess I missed out on that one, huh?

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