Sunday, June 11, 2006

Contrast of Thoughts and Ways

'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord.
'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.' -Isaiah 55:8-9

I took this picture (as I do all the pictures on this blog), and was struck by the contrast between the sky and the ground - between the heavens and the earth. I stood there looking. Thinking....

We've all considered and debated some big stuff here lately. We've urged and argued and accused and I think it's great. It's made us think. It's forced us to put on paper what we believe. It's compelled us to draw our lines and choose our allies.

But maybe, just maybe, I think it's gotten away from us that at the end of the day, most of our thoughts are just that: our thoughts.

I don't have the answers. I don't. I'm more than willing to admit that I'm just another curious Christian relying on faith - hoping for knowledge - depending on the words printed in my Bible. I don't have a clear idea of how God works things - in this "reality" or the next. Oh no, folks. I don't have the answers.

But I'm willing to bet you don't have all of them, either.

Why? Why would I not bet any of my dollars - much less my bottom one - on either of our opinions?

Because. Because we're both just people. And at the end of the day, we just have our people thoughts and our people faith.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not disparaging your thoughts. Or your ways. Or your good intentions. After all, I know many of you reading this are very well educated. I know still others of you have invaluable life experience... the things under your belt are things I'll never do... or see... or have under my own belt. Most of you have read far more than I have. You've worked more. You've lived more. No, please - I mean no disrespect. Like I said, I don't have all the answers. But neither do you.

Only God does.

Someone asked me yesterday if God would readily welcome a Christian who'd permanently turned his or her back on God. I don't have the answer. My thoughts are not His thoughts.

A guy I dated in college was conflicted over predestination. Does God choose us, or do we choose God? I didn't have the answer. Neither did he. His (God's) ways are higher than our ways.

How - a friend asked recently - could God allow those who've never heard of Him to spend eternity outside His presence? I couldn't answer. I didn't have the answer. Do you? After all, His ways are so much higher than our ways, and His thoughts our thoughts.

Of course, it does say in Amos that God can (and does) choose to let us in on some things. Amos 4:13 says, He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals His thoughts to man, He who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of earth - the Lord God Almighty is His name.

It's there. I believe it. I believe God reveals His thoughts to man. But still, will I bet my bottom dollar that I'm a lucky recipient of divine revelations? No sir. No ma'am.

Yeah. Lest I get bogged down in my own opinions and my own intentions, let me be among the first to say that I don't have answers. Like you, I can only split open the Word of God and try to call it like I (as a person) see it.

But hey. Maybe we'll all be standing around together someday when the deep mysteries are revealed. I hope we are. And maybe I'll be alongside you when we're struck by the contrast between the heavens and the earth.

Don't worry. You'll recognize me instantly. I'll be the one standing there looking... Thinking....

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