Sunday, March 07, 2010

"My thoughts are not your thoughts"

The title of this blog is a quote from Isaiah 55, a part of which was read in church this morning. It's a concept that I've really come to internalize during the past few years, since it allows me to embrace both religion and science and also come to terms with human tragedy.

Being religious is a choice, of course. Nobody forces me to choose it, and there is precious little hard evidence that would make this choice a logical one. Nevertheless, I choose to acknowledge a God, even a God that would make itself known to sentient creatures like us. But this God's thoughts are not my thoughts, and I don't presume to have any idea about the ultimate purpose of creation. What I do presume is that God would like to see us creatures make as much "progress" as we can, both scientifically and socially. So, I think that when man landed on the moon God said, "That's pretty good", and when women got the vote God said "It's about time!" But these thoughts are nothing like our thoughts, since we cannot comprehend all there is to know about the universe in a moment, as I believe God can.

Perhaps my most significant personal belief is that God can be "good" and still not often intervene to shield individuals, humanity or the earth from natural events that we would regard as tragedies. We know that good people and bad people get cancer; humanity could be wiped out by a rogue asteroid; and, the earth will burn up sooner or later. Could "goodness" only relate to creating the conditions where progress can occur on an individual or societal basis, with the rest pretty much left up to us? This idea seems likely to me, especially since we are able to contemplate the creator and develop theories about how to achieve human progress. But I don't rule out the possibility that God might give humanity a nudge from time to time, which leaves some room for a divine Jesus or perhaps other divine visitations - we sure do need a little help from time to time!

Someday my end will come, and I will follow all my human predecessors back into the dust. I'm not overly concerned about this natural event, since it can hardly be deemed a tragedy if everyone does it. What does intrigue me is whether or not I'll ever get some insight into what God had in mind when God set in motion all of this stuff we now experience. If my "spirit" does survive, I doubt it will ever begin to comprehend the mind of God. "My thoughts are not your thoughts" likely pertains forever. But it would be nice to get a little taste of what this was all about, wouldn't it?


Anonymous said...

I liked this post a lot.

thimscool said...

Do you want me to 'splain it for ya?

Lifehiker said...

Sure, thimscool. Start a blog of your own and 'splain away. I'll follow you.

thimscool said...

No can do, dad-i-o. I'm not retired yet. But I am approaching the crest of my arc.

I once started such a blog (called "Anthropic Tautology"), but the very first post was interrupted repeatedly by sick kids, crazy clients, tax drama, and finally a death in the family.

I concluded that God did not want me to lay it down in one place just yet. So I sneeze out bits and pieces upon the blogs of my victims. You are part of an elite club!


thimscool said...

Er... sick kid actually. Atticus was around one and Rosemary wasn't born yet. Time sure does fly around here.

Sonja's Mom said...

Loved this post. Food for thought. My feelings about God and my lack of belief are something I struggle with daily.

Thank you.