Tuesday, June 27, 2006

thoughts on things taught in church last sunday - part 4 - a custom fit universe

"god especially created the universe to best fit our individual lives"

compare this with moses' realization.

moses 1:8-10 "And it came to pass that Moses looked, and beheld the world upon which he was created; and Moses beheld the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created; of the same he greatly marveled and wondered. . . . and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed."

for a long time i had trouble with what this meant. however, recently i got some help from d.z. phillips (whom i hope to be studying under next year). in phillips' book, the problem of evil and the problem of god, after discussing the struggles of job and the world, he says

"there is a deep tendency in us to resist what it says, namely, that we are not people to whom the cosmos owes anything. we refuse to believe that. we believe, rather, in system of checks and balances that will make everything alright for us in the end."
he continues...
"to recognize that one is nothing, is to recognize that one is not the center of the universe. the 'i' is not sacrosant, immune from harm. the world can reach out and touch it at any moment. nor is the 'i' the possessor of a comsic right that will guarantee that things go in its favour...
...in recognizing that life itself is a gift, and that the ways things go in it are a grace, the believer dies to the 'i' that sees itself at the centre of the universe... in the religious response i am talking of, there is no requirement to love the fact that god has given life with its contingencies to human beings. this love is gratitude for existence.
what moses realized with his vision of the cosmos, was that he was nothing. the universe does not revolve around him and was not custom made for him. however, this did not lead moses to despair. moses also learned that though his life was only one of a great many, that his life was his nonetheless. he was a son of god. his very existence was a gift that great all in itself, despite his nothingness compared to the vast universe.

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