I’ve just concluded my second reading of the Shack. There is an incidental shaping of many people’s theologies by this startling analogy. A lot of mature and thoughtful believers are discovering that the beat of their heart is not at odds with the beat of the Father’s heart. They are discovering that a heck of a lot of what we once gave priority to, is not in any way central to that centering relationship that we can have with the Creator in ALL three persons.
I guess I should stop saying “they” and start saying “we”. We are discovering a reality some of us already knew but seemed counter-intuitive to our western mindsets, that the Holy Spirit is not a tame participant (if we ask) in our work and worship. We’re re-imaging the Spirit as wild and free, beyond our twin addictions to prediction and control – what a relief – we’re not repsonsible for the work of the Holy Spirit. One day we’ll discover that the Spirit of God sows a wildness in us that enables a kind of obedience, like that of the timid person jumping when the bungi-jump operator says, “JUMP!!!”
We also discover the depth of the reality inherent in God’s deep knowledge of exactly who we are – beyond our masks, playacting, and fearful, porcupine-bristled self protection. One of my own thunderous discoveries was that when we refuse forgiveness, mercy or grace, even to some rotten swine who has hurt us deliberately, visciously, we are in effect judging God as inadequate in the pursuit of justice. So, trivially, when I’m mouthing off at someone who has gone to sleep at the lights, I’m telling God that He messed up b y letting such a twit cross my path just then. Kind of shocking ain’t it?!
SO if I’m gonna push aside the board of my own effort and judgement, I might just have to accept that there is a reason the world is full of nitwits and dipsticks, especially ones that are determined to cross my path. Maybe it’s to mirror my own nitwittedness and dipstickishness and call me to a greater love for the seemingly unlovable. Yeah that’s gotta be PART of the story anyway.
SO if you see a Camry SW and see it’s driver beaming idiotically at the more annoying variety of drivers – it might just be the barefoot surfer.