Sunday, November 13, 2005

fred's thoughts: a long quote to follow a long blog



i reread this tonight, because it seemed apropos in light of my last entry. i pieced together some highlights of the chapter....it's frederick buechner's thoughts on the matter of god's existence.

"If God really exists, why in Heaven's name does God not prove that he exists instead of leaving us here in our terrible uncertainty? Why does he not show his face so that at last, a despairing world can have hope? At one time or another, everyone asks such a question. In some objectifiably verifiable and convincing way, we want God himself to demonstrate his own existence. Deep in our hearts, I suspect that this is what all of us want, unbelievers no less than believers. And I have wondered sometimes what would happen if God were to do just that...

...We all want to be certain, we all want proof, but the kind of proof that we tend to want---scientifically or philosophically demonstrable proof that would silence all doubts once and for all----would not in the long run, I think, answer the fearful depths of our need at all. For what we need to know, of course, is not just that God exists, not just that beyond the steely brightness of the stars there is a cosmic intelligence of some kind that keeps the whole show going, but that there is a God right here in the thick of our day-by-day lives who may not be writing messages about himself in the stars but who in one way or another is trying to get messages through our blindness as we move around down here knee-deep in the fragrant muck and misery and marvel of the world. It is not objective proof of God's existence that we want but, whether we use religious language for it or not, the experience of God's presence. That is the miracle that we are really after. And that is also, I think, the miracle that we really get...

...God speaks to us, I would say, much more often than we realize or than we choose to realize...His message is not written out in starlight, which in the long run would make no difference; rather it is written out for each of us in the humdrum, helter-skelter events of each day; it is a message that in the long run might make all the difference...

...But I believe that there are some things that by and large, God is always saying to each of us. Each of us, for instance, carries around inside himself, I believe, a certain emptiness--a sense that something is missing, a restlessness, the deep feeling that somehow all is not right inside his skin. Psychologists sometimes call it anxiety, theologians sometimes call it estrangement, but whatever you call it, I doubt that there are many who do not recognize the experience itself, especially no one of our age, which has been variously termed the age of anxiety, the lost generation, the beat generation, the lonely crowd. Part of the inner world of everyone is this sense of emptiness, unease, incompleteness, and I believe that this in itself is a word from God, that this is the sound that God's voice makes in a world that has explained him away. In such a world, I suspect that maybe God speaks to us most clearly in his silence, his absence, so that we know him best through our missing him.

...These words that God speaks into our own lives are the real miracles. They are not miracles that create faith as we might think that a message in the stars would create faith, but they are miracles that it takes faith to see--faith in the sense of openness, faith in the sense of willingness to wait, to watch, to listen, for the incredible presence of God here in the world among us."

excerpts from the magnificent defeat, "message in the stars" by frederick buechner

3 Comments:

At 8:19 PM, Blogger Blogging Blogging Queen said...

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At 7:42 AM, Blogger Steve said...

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At 8:18 AM, Blogger brett.cantrell said...

you can actually get rid of those spam comments by messing around with your settings dealy...

 

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