“Faith must ripen through uncertainty and doubt. It must open us to something larger than our concepts, for these arise from within the limits of the self. Faith must, in the end, leave room for mystery.” – Andrew Cooper, “The Transcendent Imperative”
Between Google and Wikipedia it’s hard to find much mystery in the world today. The internet seems to have all the answers. Arguments are solved, facts are checked, spelling is corrected, definitions are confirmed all from a little rectangle that fits in the palm of our hands. We eat at restaurants we find on Yelp so we won’t be surprised. We use GPS to guide us to our destinations so we won’t get lost. We leave little room for chance, for disappointment, for surprises, for mystery.
Probably the most profound mystical experience I have ever encountered is the birth of my children. To this day, nothing has eclipsed the moment of my children’s arrival into this world. The wave of emotions that engulfed me, both terror and jubilation, have never been duplicated. The second is sitting bedside of a friend dying of brain cancer. The disease struck quickly and savagely providing little time to react or respond. He would be dead in three days as I held his hand and talked about golf, his grandson and how wonderful his yard looked. He had accepted whatever peace and grace drifts into the soul at a time like this. The journey was over. There were no more phone calls to return, or emails to respond too. The mystery of what was next was one only he would discover.
Too many christians have taken the mystery out of their faith which, for me, has sucked the life out of their religion. They approach you with all the answers as if they can speak for their God. The bible is their google taking one sentence, one phrase, typically out of context, to justify what they believe is God’s point of view. Think about that for a minute, someone honestly thinking they know what God’s point of view is on a subject. I can’t imagine that I know what God’s attitude is concerning the LGBT community. Honestly if you think you know, if you think you have the all answers your faith must not only be boring and stale but pretty damn rigid as well. Having all the answers is not the definition of faith, searching for the answer with an open mind and open heart is.
Leave room in your world for a little mystery. Get lost trying to find a restaurant that you know nothing about. Take a left turn rather than a right. Take a walk in the woods and examine life in a decaying log. Look for the face of God in the ordinary, in the victories and the struggles of each of us. But look with your heart not with your eyes, that is where the mystery of this world and beyond lurks.