I’ve been listening to ‘The Shack’ by Wm. Paul Young. I know some would eschew its theology, but the book for me opened up a world unexplored.
When I was a child, I loved in Revelations about the streets of gold and the jewels in the city walls. I would draw pictures of what I thought it looked like. I think as children, the world is so much more open with possibility. We believe we can fly, because we don’t know that we can’t.
At the age of 8, I read the King James Bible. I still have it.
As I got older and experienced some of the down sides of having faith in Christ, I became a little disillusioned. The text seemed drier, sermons became more dull, the benefits were not forthcoming.
So, naturally, when I thought of heaven, I began to feel as it it would be dull and dry to glorify God forever. I don’t know enough words. I don’t have a good enough imagination.
So, the Shack came along at just the right time.
The story is about a man who is struggling to come to terms with the killing of his daughter. God meets him in this shack, and he spends a weekend with the three persons of God that appear to him in an interesting way. It’s a glimpse into the love of God. Something I have struggled with long and hard. It is comforting and cozy and while the theology is questionable, it expanded my inner vision of what and who God is.
So, what I experience today is that the world has gotten bigger and bigger. I see in nature that in this life, in this world, I will never see every good thing, and some good things may never be seen by any man despite our searching and seeking.
When a kid, there was this poem, by Joyce Kilmer, ‘I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree.’ I thought trees were rather ugly. All those gnarled tangled branches. Wood and leaves. Didn’t do anything for me.
Now I think trees are amazing. I wish I knew all of the names of different trees and could identify them. When I was in grad school, studying information systems, we talked about the fact that trees can communicate danger to other trees…if, for example, a deer was eating its bark, it would send some sort of pollen to the other trees and those trees could use something in their composition to repel the deer. That’s a stretch from what I learned, a basic, unscientific viewpoint. The point is that trees are a lot cooler than I thought as a child.
This will sound odd, but even in television and books, you would think they would run out of jokes, and truthfully that can seem painfully true, but there is always a new fresh book or tv show or movie. There are comedy writers who write really funny things every day. I can’t imagine going to the show Saturday Night Live and saying ‘Hire me. I will write 20 good jokes every day for the next 40 years. It’s amazing that there are people who can do that. If that’s not a gift from God, I don’t know what is.
God has a sense of humor, the amusement is endless.To extend that further, the universe is alive to us to the point that they are numbering celestial entities because they are running out of names. We haven’t even scratched the surface.
In all of time, there hasn’t been a single,person who was identical to another. That isn’t even going to change as far as I can tell. It’s endless. We all learned about snowflakes as children: ‘No two snowflakes are alike. No two people are the same.’ Think of it. BILLIONS of people for thousands of years and not one alike. And the thing of it is that it’s not just the dna. It is the personality, gifts, inspiration. God has written a story for each one of us. The story he has written is an amazing story. We just lose that in the day to day.
I guess now that I’ve been around a few 24 hours, and I have seen what I have seen, and I realize now that there are going to be new songs, new languages, new understanding in music, math, science, language and every subject you can think of. There are always new sermons and new friends.
So, to me, it all seems to point to an endless amount of wonder, beauty and amazement. It is hard to understand, but the more I pursue God, the more I see how true it is.