Friday, November 06, 2009

What Do You Think?

“I want to know God’s thoughts. The rest are details.”

This quote from Albert Einstein was a mantra to me during a time of immense spiritual growth my junior year of college. It has recently come to mind again because of a question that I find myself asking all the time these days:

“God, what do you think?”

Sometimes, it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek. Like on Sunday, when I saw the pretty, blond, long-eyelashed Jesus in a portrait at the Catholic school where our church is currently worshiping. “God, what do you think when we portray your son like a Norwegian fairy tale princess from 1890?”

Sometimes, it is a fairly neutral pondering: “God, what do you think of the world and people today? Are we more screwed up than ever before, or pretty much par for the course?”

Often, it’s a bit more despairing. When I hear someone baptizing hatred or violence with religious rhetoric: "God, what do you think about them abusing your name?" When I cynically feel like the institutional church is little more than a social club: “God, what do you think about people worshiping a building/book/tradition more than you?" When I fail again and again to live up to my ideals and be the person I want to be: "God, what do you think of me?"

I can’t say I’ve gotten too many answers to this question. Sure, the Bible or basic morality might provide insight on the godly perspective, but discovering "the answer" is not really the point. Rather, I ask because seeking the mind of God brings me closer to the heart of God. I ask because it feels like one small way I can try to avoid stumbling into that self-righteousness I am so often guilty of when I assume my opinion is God's. Instead of indulging the judgmental reaction that may first pop into my mind, I can try to see things from God’s perspective. I may be pretty convinced of someone's wrongness, and be able to back that conviction up with a biblical commandment, Jesus' example, or the golden rule, but I always sense that God's perspective involves love for whomever I am about to condemn. That sense softens my heart a bit and helps me give them the benefit of the doubt.

I want to know the thoughts of God. I cannot know them fully, but what I know of them is love.

4 comments:

Amy said...

This is a wonderful post.

Lauren said...

the last line is the best.

Katie Bug said...

"I may be pretty convinced of someone's wrongness, and be able to back that conviction up with a biblical commandment, Jesus' example, or the golden rule, but I always sense that God's perspective involves love for whomever I am about to condemn. That sense softens my heart a bit and helps me give them the benefit of the doubt."
My prayer is that I reflect the above statement more and more myself.

Leisa Hammett said...

Nice. Love the questions. I especially like the last paragraph. Seeking IS the journey. I like the reference to worshipping A BOOK. Amen! And, I'd say that we seek to know that which is already within. Nice, Jessica!

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