Friday, April 15, 2011

Way? No way.

I've been thinking a lot about how I say "God will put me where I need to be" and what I mean by that. I don't believe God creates tragedy but rather that God is in our responses to hardship. If God shook the Earth to cause earthquakes and tsunamis the implication would be that God is an arbitrary, wrathful god, which I don't believe. Disconnect. God is directly and intimately involved in my own personal life, leading me, (as Quakers say) opening way for me. All those people in Haiti who are still living in tents with little food or clean water? God is not responsible for the cataclysm that created their suffering but in their response to it? Huh? God loves me. I am given the resources to be free to pursue my higher calling. The people in Haiti spend their time avoiding assault while trying to not starve or die of dysentery. Are they not equal to me? Does God not love them? I think the problem is in my reasoning that God is directly and immediately involved in my life. I think I'm coming to understand that while God can and has "spoken" to me and gives me leadings, I'm not at all sure about the whole "way opening" thing. Does God open anything for us or do we make choices and connections and seek guidance and support in such a way as to create openings? Does it matter? Right now, to me, I think it does. If God is directly involved in our lives, why is he not directly involved opening the way to end suffering and oppression? Jesus said "the poor will always be with you" which suggests there will always be hunger, injustice, want. So how can I believe that God's paving the way for me but not for all those others. Might makes right? Survival of the fittest? I don't think so. Right now, I think I'm leaning toward the idea that I am able to connect with God, with the Christ-consciousness and doing so makes me want to move closer, to act Right, to deny my ego-impulses and to choose wisely: to reflect love. When I'm living in this way ("in the Cross" as old Quakers called it), I'm living in God and am more likely to put myself in situations in which the decisions I make reinforce my desire to reflect God's love.


liz said...

I think if we are to be the hands and feet of Jesus than maybe we are the answers to the suffering in the quote Shane Claiborne

“The incredible thing I think a lot of us have felt and as we throw these questions up at God and say, ‘God, why don’t you do something about the masses of our population that are in poverty?’ we feel God say, ‘I did do something. I made YOU.’”

Friendly Mama said...

From MY perspective, I'm in agreement with what you say but when I think of this from the perspctice of a Haitian, I think we sound completely full of shit. Yes, we're the body of Christ but being so doesn't in any way alleviate the suffering of any given individual.

FriendKit said...

This is part of what reinforces my belief in reincarnation and the belief that this bodily existence is in some way a 'classroom' for us as souls. I MUST believe in a loving God. In order to be consistent with that, I must accept that we each have the opportunity to live, grow, learn and appreciate this creation and the lessons it has for us as individuals. I accept that we are not capable of fully understanding (grokking) the fullness of what 'loving God' means. We know what we individually, in our human, empathetic hearts, believe is loving and good. What is the Highest Good? Only Great Spirit knows. We trust and do our best to Listen and stay open to what we can appreciate and learn and do with all we have individually been given.

Eri said...

I think I hear you and I agree and I feel saddened. After I started worshipping among Quakers about a year and a half ago I heard a little about way opening. Looking back over my spiritual jouney it was appealing to see things I have done and people in my life as leading up to this point. The idea of way opening can be helpful if we are not led to choose any of the available options and it is better to wait until a new option becomes.
What you seem to suggest, and I go along with, is a God who acts through us, but perhaps, not so much in other ways in the world. I won’t say (and you might not say?) that God could not act to miraculously remove suffering. God probably has the power and we don’t understand what seems like a capability that is not used.
What saddens me about questioning way opening, is giving up my earlier notions. A simplified version of way opening is comforting to me. (You mentioned living in the Cross. That does not sound like comfort is the point!) Does seeing God’s activity and power in a more complex way require letting go of old ways of relating to God that have congealed into graven images?