Where we wrestle with the sublime, mysterious, powerful and often frustrating paradox of God's necessary grace.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

God: The Original E-Ticket Ride

Lately I've been looking for images that show the feeling, the impact, the reality of grace--something to see in front of you versus reading about it in text.

In the previous post, "Redneck Bellyflop" summed up (for me, anyway--maybe not so much for you, Pru ;) ) the idea that sometimes one must hurl onseself bodily, without a safety net, into grace; it doesn't always "droppeth as a gentle rain from heaven."

One of the aspects of God I find terrible (in the classical sense) is "the Lion of the tribe of Judah." God is not domesticated and neutered, "he's not a tame lion," he is absolutely uncontrollable, unpredictable. He is no respecter of agendas, prejudices and biases, back pockets or rubber stamps. Our fears, hatreds, loves and lusts do not control Him, frighten nor offend Him.

It is precisely this aspect of God I find most attractive and most terrifying.

When you're about to get on a roller coaster for the first time, do you feel butterflies the size of Buicks in your stomach? Are you anticpating the fear, the ecstasy, the jolting, the universe squeezing your world through the toothpaste tube of such vivid joy and terror?

It's terrifying because He's not safe. ("''Course He's not safe!" snorted Mr. Beaver. "But He's good.'") He will not hide our weaknesses and shield our dignity to the detriment of our soul. He's ruthless. But, as Mr. Beaver said, He's good. Good informs everything He does because He is good, the embodiment, the perfection of it.

It's terrifying because there's no visible control, God doesn't have an OFF button or a volume dial. He'd be a lot easier to deal with if he did (along with FAST FORWARD or REWIND buttons). 'Course He'd be someone else other than God, then, so it's best we can't control him and turn Him into a pet.

In the end, I think our lack of control over God is exactly what we need to come to an end to ourselves, our ruling egos.

(Note: For those of you too young or who never went to Disneyland when their ride admissions were based on issuing paper tickets, an "E ticket"--marked with a large E--admitted you to all the most exciting rides.)


Anonymous said...

I guess the reason that I can't relate to this so much is because I don't feel as if I've ever been outside looking in. That leap has never been necessary.

Emifriend said...

Oh I love finding you again! This was great and I know exactly what you mean...Over the years I am learning to trust Him with my whole heart and my whole life beccuase he is Good. Learning and knowing that has made all the difference.