From Rich Dixon:
I might be one of those non-Lent people in the title of Jon’s devotional.
I don’t ritualistically sacrifice something in preparation for Easter. This year I have an idea.
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My beginning calculus students often struggled with the notion of infinity. In an effort to make sense of a difficult idea, students often adopted the simplistic, too-small idea that infinity was a really big number that’s waaaaaay bigger than every other number.
That’s not correct, but I get it. When something seems beyond comprehension, we try to express it in terms of understandable metaphors and models. Important to remember, though, that images and analogies aren’t the real thing.
I used to chuckle when my teacher friends twisted themselves into pretzels trying to “make infinity understandable.” I just told students that finite brains can’t truly wrap themselves around the idea of “infinite.”
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Too often we twist ourselves into pretzels trying to explain God. Like calculus students, we’re eager for understandable models and metaphors. That’s fine, until we begin to think our ideas are the real thing. God, in our minds, “becomes” the big, bearded man in the painting.
Small leap, then, to imagine we’re supposed to understand and explain His plan and motives. It’s as though our theology would be diminished somehow if we can’t provide “God’s reason” for every circumstance.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.”
What if The Trinity, right now, is doing all sorts of amazing, wonderful things we can’t see, hear, explain, or even imagine?
What if we’re supposed to believe that, and trust Him?
What if, during Lent, I focus on allowing God to be too big to understand completely?