Thursday, September 4, 2008

Stuck in the Middle

So here we are, as Oscar Wilde said, ". . . all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." If we had been formed only from that which is above, the upper worlds would outnumber the lower worlds. And, of course, the reverse would lead to an equally unsatisfactory imbalance. So we are made from dust but given the breath and breadth of life; we are in the likeness of God but with the urge to rut. We are stuck in the middle.

And yet the middle we are stuck in is a paradox where all that God has created is forever: "nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it"-- a theological expression of the first law of thermodynamics that appears to be confounded by a world where Jacob turns day to night and Joshua turns night into day; where Moses turns sea to dry land and Elisha turns dry land into sea, and so on and so forth. But the acts of man are not forever, so the instabilities that man introduces do not endure; whatever we add does not last, whatever we take away is soon enough taken from us.

The best of the deeds of man add to the words of God "so that mortals may fear Him." But would we not do even better to fear ourselves? It is, after all, written that God created balance and then man added to one side or the other and what became of balance? The peace we were promised when our creation took from both the world above and the world below is nowhere to be found. If that peace is shattered by our need to add to the fear of God by our own drive to turn day to night and night to day, we should fear ourselves more than we fear the Source of life. Why fear God? Why not love the day and night for what they are and love the Creator who made them as they are?

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