Certainty in What?

In the last week, the world situation has grown significantly darker.  The Middle East has been smoldering for a long time, and now the hot wind of mistrust and violence is blowing over the glowing coals.  One cannot help but wonder when the flames will begin to rise.  I am not trying to be pessimistic, but when I look out at the current events, the question springs unbidden into my subconscious mind, “What does all this mean for me?”  There are many things in the current global arena that are cause for concern, and also many events that are closer to home.  I have long been under the conviction that the future will prove this time period to be pivotal in the history of the world.

Life is uncertain right now.  While we are not necessarily in peril of our lives, the affects of the turmoil can and will be felt around the world.  On the other hand, the U.S. may default on its loans and Chinese will become a useful language over here.  (That would be one of the unexpected repercussions of global events that would greatly affect me.)  Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think doomsday is around the corner.  I have simply been looking at the possibilities and thinking to myself that there are a lot of things in play at the moment.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Thanks for the heads up, but life was tough enough without you highlighting all the potential disasters that might threaten civilization.”  I know that what I have said above is not particularly encouraging, but I am getting to what I actually wanted to say. We, as humans, seem to always look for a stabilizing force in what we do; we are always trying to find equilibrium.  If it is hot around us, we seek the cool.  If it is cold, we seek warmth.  The same goes with our non-physical surroundings.  When times are uncertain, we naturally want to turn to something that is certain.

So what is certain in this life?  I can’t say what that is for others.  I know some that would say relationships, others family.  I know some that would say God.  Others, who are perhaps of a more practical mindset, that only death is certain.  (There I go again being really encouraging.) For me, the only certain thing in this world is the God of the Bible.  There is never anything that is more certain than God.

That may seem somewhat contradictory to the skeptic.  How can something that cannot be proven to exist be certain?  If a God exists, He would be outside the realm of the physical world and consequently, can hardly be considered a certainty to be depended upon.  The only real response to this argument is that experiential evidence tells me that my faith in God is not a leap into the darkness, as it would possibly seem to someone without that evidence.  I cannot prove that God exists.  But God can prove to me that he exists.  There is another way to look at the certainty of God.  Perhaps it is a good thing that God is not of this physical world.  The physical world is the thing is so uncertain.  If God were of this world, what would make Him more certain than everything else?  George Whitefield brought all this thought into line for me when I read this quote.

“We are immortal till our work is done.”

This quote is interesting to me because it describes in so few words God’s sovereignty over the world’s events.  Now I am not about to get into a theological discussion, but I just think it is neat to consider all the implications of that statement.  Nothing that happens to the Christian, be it good or bad, is outside God’s knowledge.  Nothing will happen to the Christian that will thwart Gods plan.  In that knowledge the Christian can feel a certainty that no one else can.

Earlier in this post I said that “for me” the only certain thing is God.  I believe that God is the only certain thing.  The only difference is whether you are grounding your certainty on him.  To those who are not yet able to ground that certainty on God, I would just say, that He is there.  When everything else is uncertain, He is still there.  The decision is yours:  On what are you placing your certainty?

Wyatt Fairlead

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I Like Description

In the English language there is one very specific word that says exactly what you mean.

The question is whether you know it.

-Maxim of Wyatt Fairlead

 

I am the sort of person who has a very active imagination.  Not in the sense that many use the term, where you think up strange things, or you start to imagine that you are seeing things that you aren’t or whatever; but in the sense that when I hear a description or I am reading about a particular scene in a book, my mind automatically pictures the events unfolding.  (Very similar to what it is like when you are remembering specific scenes from a movie, only my mind is creating it.)  I don’t think that is a particularly unusual thing to have happen to people; it is just particularly vivid in my mind.  That being the case, I always enjoy well done description in books.  Description that is well done makes it easy for you to see what the author wants you to see but leaves a little “wiggle room”, so to speak, for your imagination as well.

Perhaps another reason why I like description so much is that it allows the author to create an object, person, or environment with out the actual struggle of doing it.  That sounds somewhat nonsensical at first, but allow me to explain.  For the vast majority of my life I have been trying and failing to create the exact representation of what I am picturing in my head.  My imagination would come up with intricate medieval weapons, or monstrous citadels.  Probably the most common was an 18th century frigate under full sail crashing through the top of a wave with sea spray creating rainbows in the sunset sky.  (Believe me; that one never came close to happening.)  The problem is, I can’t do it.  I don’t have the skill to create in the physical world what is in my head, be it in drawing, building, or any other medium I try.  What description allows me and anyone else to do is create exactly what is in the imagination in someone else’s head.  Description isn’t the same as the physical reality, but it is the next best thing, and it enables us to create something that we wouldn’t ordinarily be able to.  There is something about good description that sparks the imagination and I love it when that happens.

Wyatt Fairlead