The opposite of hallelujah

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Church of the Good Shepherd, NZ. Tourists just out of view.

If we deconstruct out existences down to a series of processes, then most of us would agree that some of ours are run with a great deal of inefficiency.

Better decisions could be made if we were afforded even a hint of what was down the road. Whether it’s that job loss a week after you bought a new car, that market crash in six month’s time, that lovely girl you are going to meet a year later and how you are shitting over that by chasing every skirt you see today, humans are really like rubber duckies dropped into a wild river, smashing uncontrollably against the banks, unable to hold on to anything and completely unaware of what fate is waiting at the end of the waters.

I’ve taken this issue with God more than once, demanding that He explain to me why He can’t just reach His whizz-like pinky down here and fix this bug. I’ve thrown tantrums over what I perceive to be just inefficient management on His part. That with a well-designed Excel sheet and a few clipboards, He could have my life purring like a vintage engine.

The truth is, most of us treat God like a consultant, someone whose agenda and objective is to achieve process nirvana, to poka-yoke-the heck out of the intricacies of our existences so that we slip not, waste not.

But God really does not behave like a consultant. His purpose isn’t for us to operate our lives flawlessly and with optimum efficiency. If that was really the purpose, then He could simply zap us with the ability of aforementioned foresight, boot temptations out the door and endow us with impeccably strategic minds before dusting His hands off and sitting down for a pina colada (virgin, of course).

Instead He really behaves more like a teacher, or at least the way teachers are supposed to. There is no intended end-product at the end of the production line, because it’s all about guiding you through a process. How much you get out of it depends on your willingness to listen and how intentionally you apply that knowledge to the process. What we want out of God is for Him to just hand us the exam questions because really, that is the most efficient way to get us where we need to be. But we would never stand for a teacher that did that, so perhaps we should start looking at God in the same way and not expect Him to play cheat.

I am cognisant about how this looks to skeptics, that a supposedly omnipotent God that seemingly allows you to barrel into any eventuality really sounds a lot like that God does not exist. But isn’t that the definition of what faith is, to swim into vicious waters instead of staying dry on the comforting shores of logical reasoning?

I chose faith a long time ago, and I really don’t quit easily.

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