movement, movement

Contradiction And Surrender

Posted in christianity, conversation, philosophy, religion by amoslanka on October 2, 2008

There are times when I am ridiculously idealistic, and others when I refuse anything but pragmatism. It seems so contradictory in observance, but no less when compared to the standard perspective I recognize myself as having, one that in many ways doesn’t make it an absolute priority to remove supposedly contradictory ideas or feelings from my belief system. Speaking of feelings, I suppose it is most often that its our feelings that make us feel contradictory. Just today, this guy left a comment on a previous post saying “all i want in life is to agree with myself”. I think thats how we feel a lot of times- as though everything within us contradicts what we thought we knew. Our journeys through life give us new perspectives that may or may not be congruent with our prior vision of the world.

I feel as though I have discovered release from at least some of that frustration. This comes not from a tightening of the demands I place on my own understandings, but rather a remembering how foggy this world is. This world is like looking through a lens that is scratched, fogged, unfocused, and sometimes even pointed in the wrong direction. But I can find peace in that, because I can find peace in Grace. I can find peace in the small pieces of the puzzle I find daily or the glimpses of truth that remind me of the beauty and the depravity to which I cling.

Maybe our purpose in life isn’t to have it all figured out. 

Maybe our purpose in life isn’t suppose to be free of contradiction.

What is poetry without irony?

What is beauty without contrast?

What is life without death?

What if the full culmination of this surrender comes naturally when the right circumstances are at hand, when all the while we’ve been trying to force it into a broken humanity and a misled culture?


12 Responses

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  1. .escamilla. said, on October 2, 2008 at 8:03 am

    those same questions, when i ask myself, are often what give my soul rest as well.

    blessings to you, amos.

  2. Kyla said, on October 2, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Exactly what I’m dealing with today. Thanks for the thoughts.

  3. lydia said, on October 2, 2008 at 10:59 am

    too funny to stop by and read this, as these were sweet words i desperately needed to hear. great post. perfect timing. the thoughts are now resting heaving and resonating throughout my belly. thank you thank you. be well.

  4. kacie said, on October 3, 2008 at 9:14 am

    thank you so much for writing this post. this is part of what i’ve been struggling with lately – you’ve put words to the mess that’s been in my head for weeks.
    you’re right…what is poetry without irony? what is life without death?
    thank you for reminding me to live in the tension of the question.

  5. evanweatherford said, on October 3, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    hey that’s me!

  6. annamasi said, on October 3, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    I’ve been meditating on two things lately: first in Mark 6, when Jesus says to the disciples, “Come away with me and rest a while…”, and second in Lamentations 3:22-23:
    “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
    they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.”

    As a poet, I completely agree that without that contrast, without that frustration, we are unaware of the amazing depth of the life we have so graciously been given. For me – in my life recently – my frustration with the “foggy-ness” of this world has shown me Grace by pushing me to pursue Grace, and pursue being grace for others as well.

    Many blessings friend.
    I hope Jesus is sitting right next to you,
    Anna M.

  7. subversivechurch said, on October 5, 2008 at 8:28 am

    I take much comfort in the words of Elaine Pagels in the movie/documentary Constantine’s Sword.

    She says, “We don’t know for sure, but…” and continues on about the history surrounding Jesus.

    For me, the idea of absolute truth concerning my faith is what has driven me crazy over the years. It is faith, if it could be proven, it stops being faith and becomes science. I prefer my faith to be driven by “what if”, not “thus saith”. It allows both grace and the Holy Spirit to flourish. It does not allow for some sort of difinitve victory in debates or otherwise.

    But anymore, I’m ok with that outcome. If I can at least get people to think, to question, even a little bit, then for me that is a small win, a small hope that grace is working, that the Holy Spirit is nudging through me, not using the sledgehammer of guilt to bring people around to a better way of living.

    Because isn’t it really about upholding the idea of “love God, love your neighbor?”


  8. ash said, on October 5, 2008 at 9:01 am

    to stem from what you stated….i think sometimes, i’d rather hang out with the person who is questioning and seeking than the person who thinks they have it all together.

    i have a friend…one believes herself to be a christian, had the cultural experiences and all of that…but admitted the other day she doesn’t “click with being christian”- it wasn’t until i explained to her that in my view that it’s not about being “christian” at all but rather about a God who loves me, who sees my every move and hears my every thought…it’s about being who i was created to be. i know that got her thinking…”what if?”

    i believe God expects us to ask questions and i believe that American christianity as a whole has often stifled that.

  9. amoslanka said, on October 5, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    @mike — what marvelous words you use, especially in the difference between “what if” and “thus saith”.

    One thing i’d say though, concerning science, is that even science is not always provable. Most science is theory, and even technical scientists would say that that physical laws like gravity are technically not beyond theory status.

  10. subversivechurch said, on October 7, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    True about science, but most people tend to think that science is exact. Once pressed however, they will say it is theory, much like religion. The danger lies in thinking something is proven when in fact it hasn’t been.

  11. subversivechurch said, on October 7, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    Sorry, I hit submit too soon. Continuing on with my thought…

    When we think something is proven or truth, then we start to build upon it, start to form our worldview around it as a foundation. Obviously if this truth turns out to be not truth, then we either tear down what we have built on said truth or we defend what we have built on said truth.

    I think we can safely say that many people try to defend their religion, especially if it is being questioned. But it is exactly such a defense that starts things like the crusades, the moral majority and all sorts of other manmade atrocities carried out in the name of God.


  12. […] exchange between myself and Mike from subversivechurch. It followed my brief comments regarding Contradiction and Surrender. I love conversing with both Mike and Chris from subversivechurch, and would urge you, if you […]

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