I few weeks ago I was riding my stationary bike and mulling over things, when an exchange with a co-worker the previous day came to mind.
We all know people who see the missing half of the glass, but in some cases these may not be negative people, they may just be more sensitive to the inefficiency caused by the difference between what should be and what is. Some people have more difficulty with this inefficiency than others and engineers are naturally sensitive to it. That’s why we make things.
As I thought about this it occurred to me that the tension between the “what should be” we understand and the “what is” we see is a core problem of existence. The ideal and the particular, the individual and the universe. As I thought about this in the context of interpersonal relations I considered how much the friction between people contributes to this problem of existence and it seems to me this is a major source of pain.
As I thought about it it also occurred to me that most if not all of that friction goes away if we would only Love one another.
No this is not a new idea and yes I am aware that this is appears to be a gross oversimplification. That isn’t my point.
What occurred to me as I thought about it was how this solution to the problem of humanity, which we almost universally agree on but seem universally unable to implement points to a God of Love.
I’ve been a Christian for awhile and the notion of an all powerful God responsible for the universe is one I am intellectually comfortable with. This is the Creator God many people believe in. What has always been a step of faith for me was the idea that this Creator God was in fact a God of Love and more importantly that He actually loved me in particular. Why should He? What rational justification is there to believe in a loving God, the Hebrew God of Love?
Seeing love as the answer to the problem of the individual in the universal (at least in interpersonal terms) struck me as a plan for existence. The vast majority of humans throughout history agree on this solution even in the face of our consistent failure to apply it. The evidence of this common understanding of the solution to the problem of the individual and the universal argues strongly that the Creator God must also be the God of Love. If this is how we are made, it is illogical to assume the attribute we recognize as “the right way”, that we understand as the ideal solution would not be an attribute of the Creator Himself.
Simply stated the universality of the idea that we should love our neighbor as ourselves reveals God’s nature as surely as the heavens reveal His majesty. It is not a leap of faith to believe in the God of Love, it is a rational conclusion based on the evidence.
Where is faith then?
Faith is required to ACT on the rational conclusion, and that is why it is impossible to please Him without it.