Thursday, July 2, 2009

Curious Bursts that Make Us Wonder

We humans are born to wonder. But have we religious humans become bored and lagging because we think we have found the answers… and have we lost that curious burst that makes us wonder? Are we afraid to think, to wander into the great unknown because that would be in some strange way, a betrayal of Jesus, whom we know as the Answer. Now this kind of thinking seems quite absurd, but I admit that at times, I have felt intellectually restless, bored, false, and stifled, especially in Church, and at times, even in personal prayer. Some Christian teaching seems to imply that curiosity is over when we accept Christ as all in all, and that the wanderings of the mind can lead to an false and dangerous place. Don’t go there, just have faith! This kind of narrow-mindedness implies that faith and reason are mutually exclusive. My experience is that this kind of non-thinking causes my imagination to flatline and so limits my curiosity about God.
Aren't curiosity and imagination wonderful, productive kinds of God-given gifts of the human mind, the part of us that makes us more like God than like animals. Because of curiosity, we have science; because of imagination, we have the arts. Because of God, we have curiosity, and because of God, we have imagination. The Scriptures are poetry,essay, and novel, and Jesus, the true story-teller; the disciples, full of healthy curiosity-all questions at times. Is God not the original Scientist, the ultimate Artist? Have you ever been underwater with a snorkel? Was it not the most ridiculously sublime and lavishly colorful world hidden down there? Did it not inspire some curious thoughts about the mind of a Creator who dreamt this? Why not really enjoy pondering His Grandeur, His Creative Spirit, His Loving Personality, with our whole minds as well as our hearts? If saints were happy to give up everything to stay in His company, they must have been awed by a Goodness so incomparable that all else lost its luster. I, too, want to see and taste that He is good, as we are all invited to do. But not in a junk food kind of way, like how only chocolate or fries will do, after I have stuffed myself with too many rich foods and forgotten the plain deliciousness of an apple. Good in a way of lasting satisfaction and true nourishment, good, in a way of pure, whole food for my soul. In Philippians we are told in no uncertain terms what we are to put our minds on ~ whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent, we are to think on these things.
Why not spend a few minutes sometime today to think on these things ?
Much more coming about curious bursts that make us wonder...stay tuned, and please some curious questions and imaginative comments, or just comments. I need you out there to banter back so I don't feel I am talking to myself..again. It is easy, just click comment box below. I would love some more followers too.
P.S. About the visual, I am an artist but not good enough to make myself look like this beautiful young Italian sidewalk artist who worked on this daily in the Florentine plaza right outside of the Uffizi Gallery. Not even a lipo artist could have made this a picture of me. The only things she and I have in common is that I paint with chalk also, and that I,too, do faces.

1 comment:

wordsoutofsilence said...

Amen. St. Irenaeus said "The glory of God is a human being fully alive." Without imagination and reason, as well as faith, we are not fully human. If we can no longer appreciate beauty and truth and excellence wherever they appear, we are dead! Thanks for this post.

John