God gave you a brain, use it

January. Gone in a flash.

While there are struggles within to negotiate my path and find my way, there are certain structures I have been keeping in order that I don’t lose complete control of the ship. In the midst of a storm, it’s your disciplines and the nurturing of your sea-faring skills that prevents you from steering and sinking into a whirlpool of oblivion. I may not know where is the promise land but I’m not losing control of this boat.

Which means I’m still building strength in my life, whether physically or within my inner world. Whether it’s through reading, devotions or spending time listening.

I’ve endeavored to finish three books by the end of the month. So far, I’m on course and am currently on the third one, authored by N.T. Wright.

Some people have told me that to be a good worker, boyfriend or a Christian doesn’t require you to fully understand everything about it. All you need to do is to have the right motives and try really hard.

While I agree that one can’t in his human capacity, fully comprehend everything but that does not mean that one has to forsake intellectual integrity in seeking the true meaning of things in life. Questions like “What is hell, really?’ or “Why Obama does what he does?” may not interest some of you but I guess the quest for learning through literature and books is a worthy undertaking for the rest of your life.

Whatever you strive to achieve or pursue, it requires more than just the right intentions and effort. You need a good map to find that land of milk and honey. So far, I’m trying to make good notes on mine as I steer myself into the next month.

Here’s an interview with N.T. Wright, who has been a refreshing guide for me on how to be human and the theology of hope. Something that we all need right now.

I think the problem that we have had comes from the wrong conception of heaven. Once you start to think of heaven, not as a place miles up in the sky, but as God’s dimension of reality which intersects with ours (but in a strange way that is to us unpredictable and uncontrollable), certainly then you realize that for Jesus to go into the heavenly dimension, is not for him to go up as a spaceman miles up into space somewhere, and not for him to be distant or absent now. It is for him to be present, but in the mode in which heaven is present to us. That is, it’s just through an invisible screen, but present and real.

The key thing to realize, as in the Old Testament, in Daniel, for example, is that heaven is the control room for what happens on earth. I think I do say this in Surprised by Hope actually. Heaven is basically where earth is run from. And it’s because we haven’t taken seriously the language of Matthew 28, where Jesus says, “All authority is given to me in heaven and on earth,” that we haven’t thought of it like that. We’ve thought of it like, He’s gone away, leaving us to run things. No. He is in heaven. He is in charge. He is the Lord. That’s true right now. Now, how his lordship works out is then through the work of the church. But he is the Lord and is present with and through his church, as we are doing what we are called to do.

– N.T. Wright


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