The Older I Get
It’s tough getting old! It is so cliché! My back! My neck! My knees! Arthritis setting in! Menthol and CBD creams! Can’t remember why I walked into the garage! Acid reflux! No more shoes with laces! Getting up a few times in the night! Trip hazards! Cryotherapy! Hot tub! Infrared Sauna! Medicare! OMG! And now I am an old man blogger! Who’d a thunk it!
For me, writing an occasional blog has been more of a cathartic exercise which allows me to express certain thoughts concerning God, religion, faith whether it be ideas, concerns, doubts, struggles, objections, mysteries and so on. You get that, right? I confess that some of what I might write about reveals that I, like many of you, are continuing to live in a continuum of a desire to understand more and make more sense of those things that make no sense or are at least very difficult to understand. Make sense? Yet, there lies a crossroad of choosing to live in the unknowable and embrace the mystery. I never would have predicted this season of wonder in my life but I’m growing to accept it and cherish it.
The older I get the more I’ve discovered that God is a greater mystery more than I ever thought before. You wouldn’t think so for a simpleton like me who is certainly not an academic or intellectual. I could easily spend every day and all day either fishing, motorcycling, surfing, mountain biking, golfing or simply sitting on the beach allowing my mind to wander wherever it might choose to wander. How can God become more of a mystery after growing up in Sunday School; attending three years of seminary; serving as a pastor in three churches; preaching the “Word of God”? How could there be any mystery left, right?
Let’s be honest. Over the past several thousand years Christianity as a religion has doctrined the hell into the mystery. I’m not saying doctrine does not serve a purpose. I am saying we have progressively diminished the mystery wanting to know and have the answers for every aspect of living out what for many Christians is a religious life. We’ve arrived at the foot of a Babylonian tower of knowledge not unlike the infamous desire of the garden to be like God and to eat the fruit of knowing it all! It was offered in the garden after all. Who could refuse?
To the degree that mystery and love come together in our lives with Jesus as the guide is the degree to which anyone one of us can expect to live with a supernatural joy and contentment, not being shipwrecked by guilt, shame and the endless Sunday teachings that repeat a mantra of “you haven’t quite yet arrived at the place God wants you to be.” The true church does not meet on Sundays…. or any night of the week. The true church is a living, breathing presence on earth of human beings expressing the love of God to one another in every possible way at every conceivable opportunity.