God is one trusting Dude….
Last week, Trinity Sunday, one of our Church members, Rich Geisel, spoke to us, sharing his thoughts on the readings and how God is one trusting dude.
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
So it wasn’t as I had hoped when I reviewed the readings and the Gospel, that somehow magically this homily would jump out of my skull and onto the page. Instead I was forced to ask for the Holy Spirit to come when He wanted and provide the inspiration for whatever I might offer.
That inspiration came to me from these words from each reading:
And even suffering.
The concepts that speak to me are:
“He delighted in us and we in Him”
“He gave us so much power over His perfect creation”
“Jesus is the access to Grace”
“The Spirit of truth”
These are incredible words and incredible “gifts”. Imagine that God would give us power over perfection. Knowing full well that were very likely to muck it up. Imagine that He delighted in us in spite of knowing that we would invariably do many things that were anything but delightful. How could He make such a decision? How could God hand over the keys to the car that we would crash over and over again?
I know I won’t likely give my son Paul the keys to my 1968 Pontiac Firebird until he has demonstrated the ability to treat it as an adult. To recognize how fragile yet powerful it is. To prove he is capable of managing a 1968 suspension without careening off the road and into passerby’s. To appreciate the responsibility of owning and driving something so unique and so valuable. But I know in the end….I will one day give them to him. Unless I fail at any one of the above requirements between now and that day….because I could.
That is because I delight in him. I want him to gain wisdom over time. I have hope he will develop great character and that God’s grace will travel on the road with him. I teach him about Jesus so it will. I know this day will not arrive without endurance, his and mine. I know that in order for him to gain all this he will have to suffer. He will have to deal with the denials I will give him when he thinks he is ready and when I do not agree. I know he will have to prove he will have the endurance to manage his own disability to master something that for others will be easy. He will have to prove to me he is ready.
No easy task!
This is quite contrary to what we have heard in the readings. God has asked for no proof. In fact, He was willing to roll the dice on day one. He had delight and He had a plan and He was sticking to it no matter how many times He knew we would drive His car into the abyss. No matter how many times he knew we would ignore all the training His son would give us. No many how many times we would leave the road of Grace and scream off into the night with only our pride and sense of self.
God is one trusting Dude….
But He also has a plan. He has a Son, he has a Spirit and He has Truth. He has every intention of leveraging all three to try and keep us on the road. Nice call God…
But He is no helicopter Parent. This is a Father who is going to let us do it ourselves, with the Hope that we will pay attention to the Savior and Spirit He offers us. He does not demand we accept these gifts. He Hopes we will.
He knew after the fall there would be suffering. Sometimes unbearable. He knew also that those experiences were essential to find Him. Even His perfect son had to suffer so we would know that our suffering would not be in vain.
He had figured out exactly how to make lemonade with lemons. How to build in us endurance and character and thereby wisdom. And with that wisdom transform ourselves back into the children that we were always born to be. With that truth of the spirit become the Responsible, loving, forgiving, selfless children of His original delight. But that was not enough, He set no timeline on these achievements…He gave us grace to transport us to them. He gave us the truth by which to live our lives, He gave us His son as a willing sacrifice to clean the slate before we got into the driver’s seat and He gave us the Holy spirit to be our perfect GPS.
And all of this to what end?
To control our universe? No
To make us rich? No
To make us Happy? No
To make us living legends? No
To make us perfect husbands and wives? Nope
He gave us this so we could delight in Him as much as He delights in us so that we could experience something more precious, more beautiful and more mind blowing than anything the world can deliver.
The car is not the gift…….It’s the destination…..