Because! What foolishness!

18 The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. [1]

Why was the sea stirred up?…because a strong wind was blowing. Why was a strong wind blowing?…Because atmospheric conditions required it. Why…?…Because! As a parent, sometimes we are tempted, or even do answer our three year old: “Because!” Or “Because I’m the parent, that’s why!” At that moment, we cannot come up with a better answer. So we resort to our role in our child’s life as the ultimate answer, the ultimate reason this is the way it is. Objectively, with reference to other possibilities, or in the judgment of other experts or rational observers, it may not be so. But for the time being, in this moment, here and now, it is.

God, You have shown from the very beginning, from Garden to Garden, that this is not Your style, not Your modus operandi. You have a distinctive approach to all things created, i.e. You have a purpose, a reason for things being the way they are. And not just any old reason, but a personal, a paternal, a caring, a loving reason it is that way.

I admit, I often do not see Your reasoning behind what happens to me. I would even go further and say that I usually, or even almost always, do not see Your reasoning behind what happens to me…what You do “unto” me according to Your word.

For example, why do You place me in this beautiful setting in Vermont, looking out my window at the hills and trees, the fields and farms, while others are eking out their very existence on the trash heaps of Buenos Aires or Calcutta, fearing for their lives against ISIS in Iraq or Syria, lying in a bed of pain dying of Ebola in Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone? Or from the global and critical to the mundane and personal: why do I have a touch of sciatica now when a couple of days ago I was fine?

One answer is certainly Isaiah’s observation: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways—For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts. [Is 55:8-9]

But I like Paul’s answer better:…in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom [1Cor 1:21]. Oh, in God’s providence, in His plan, we can only come to know God partially, for what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. [Rom 1:19-20]

However, that didn’t work so well: although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. [Rom 1:21-22] [If we substitute “we” for “they”, we get the picture…]

Fortunately, Your ways, God, are not my ways…You did show me that my wisdom is foolishness and Your “foolishness,” the foolishness of the proclamation, [was] to save those who have faith. [1Cor 1:21] This was Your will…for Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but…[You] proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles…for [Your] foolishness…,God, is wiser than human wisdom, and [Your] weakness…is stronger than human strength.

Now, I guess if, in sending Your Son to the cross as the way You enable me through Your Son to conquer sin and death, you baffle and bewilder me with Your wisdom, I would be foolish to question Your wisdom in what You have put into or left out of my life. Perhaps it is in foolishness that You ask me to follow You, in trust, in faith, in relying on You, Jesus, who are infinite and finite, Wisdom and Foolishness, God and Man. Maybe it’s ok when God says to His Children: “Because!”  May Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving, honor, power, and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen. [Rev 7:12]

[1] Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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