Friday, September 7, 2012

Wisdom from Socrates. (Or not.)

Have I mentioned lately how good God is to me?  I'm sure I've tried, but my words are completely inadequate.

Recently we (read: my Dad) have been discussing how even God's judgments are merciful.  The extent of God's goodness is unfathomable.

I read a quote by Socrates a couple weeks ago that kind of explained why we can't fathom God's ways.  (And before you go on thinking that I'm all refined and cultured because I read the great philosophers, I should let you know that I got it off of twitter)

"God created man in His own image, and then man turned around and returned the favor." 

It rings true when I realize that every time I'm trying to understand God and His ways I fail, because I'm stuffing His design and plan into a box that is limited by my logic.

My nature doesn't have the capacity to love and forgive and be righteous and just and merciful all at the same time, so when I catch glimpses of God working this way, it blows my mind.

Here's something crazy.  I've found that the things I've complained about the most (either out loud or to myself) in the recent past have ended up as huge blessings.

A little over a month ago I was really feeling sorry for myself that I had to spend my Saturday at the eye doctor instead of going to the beach with my siblings.  It was a pretty reasonable complaint.  Nobody else in our household has to wear corrective lenses, besides the reading glasses that my parents have started to rely on.  I'm the only one, and they caused me to miss a beach trip.  Definitely worthy of a first class pity party.

When I got home from the optometrist, Dad and Mom and my little sister were the only ones home and they were getting ready to go visit our Pastor, who was in the hospital.  I hate hospitals.  Almost as much as I hate missing beach trips, but on impulse I put my shoes back on and got in the car.

Before we left, he prayed for us.  I've always been blessed by his prayers.  He'd never end a prayer without asking God to "bless each and every one here in a very special and wonderful way."

It was the last time I saw him.  Pastor Sam passed away just a week later.  

Today, I'm really glad that I have to wear glasses.  I wouldn't have seen him that last time if I had good eyesight like the rest of my brothers and sisters.  (No pun intended)

In God's economy the hard things become the best things.  We have to give in order to get; die in order to live.  The whole glasses thing might seem trivial, but to me, it revealed another glimpse of God's character.

I'm definitely guilty of creating a god in my own image as Socrates observed, but I sure like the One who is completely opposite of me a lot better.

P.S.  Okay, so I googled the quote that I quoted earlier, and couldn't find it.  Maybe Socrates didn't say it after all.  Maybe someone else said it, or maybe the twitter user made it up.  Whatever the case may be, it still rings true for me.

"The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it is difficult to discern whether or not they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln

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