Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dangerous Certainty

Dangerous Certainty,.
We like certainty. I want to be certain of the truth. This seems a good thing:
“Is this who I'm to marry? I want certainty.”
“Is this the best investment for retirement? I want certainty.”
“Is this the right job? I want certainty.”
“Is this the right religion? I want certainty.”
“Is this the best place to put solar lights for my path? I must be certain.”
The list goes on, and on, as we seek certainty.

Certainty seems essential. When we decide, we want to be right.
But, certainty has a downside, expressed by the paradox:
The more certain I am, the harder it is to find the truth.

When I am certain of a political party, I can be blind to it's faults. Make excuses when it makes a mistake. Ignore a mistake, because my enemies made the accusation.

To hear God, and yet be both certain and uncertain, at the same time, is a hard paradox of being a disciple. Like a bad radio trying to pick up a station just at the outer limits of reception. What did He say? Did I hear correctly? How to confirm? A life of bewildered certainty.

Thus, certainty is both goal and temptation. Our goal to hear God, yet also verify. To know it's God we hear. Like that special forces soldier in enemy territory, ready to throw away assumptions. Always alert. Ready to discard certainties.

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