Complicating Simple Mysteries  

Posted by Mike Sharrow in , , , , ,

In response to the Janitor comments from the previous post...I am repeatedly convicted of how, as a bypass to dealing with the deep mysteries of simple truths in the Gospel, we throw ourselves into drawing complex systems of more "understandable" rules. The truth is so simple it profoundly frustrates us - so we'd rather arrive at the same conclusion via a 40 year wilderness modeled process of well-defined steps.

I once wrote a paper on how the Holy Spirit is free to use it's power in the lives of believers practically to the glory of the Father. A fairly simple theological premise. The title of my paper? "A Paradigm of Pneumatological Pragmatism." That's an oxymoron title about being practical!

Many thanks to the Burkholder Post-Karmic Stream for the recent posting on Rube Goldberg. To approach life like a Rube is to take a long, complex route to a simple end. Isn't that what people have always done with the love and law of God? How many steps can we walk on the Sabbath, and what is 'work' exactly? Who's my 'neighbor' again? How many times must I forgive? Jesus sure frustrates the A-type personalities when He boiled 650 legal code statements into "love God, love people. Period."

I've learned and relearned this principle at least 26 dozen times, it feels. It started at a young age.

When I was 12 I was fascinated with physics and practical sciences. I was terribly intrigued by the seemingly limitless energy of magnets - they never drain! Surely there must be something to be done with this energy. Plus, the whole power of sunlight as a force (photovoltaic inertia). So, being a verbose and altogether odd kid, I spent 6 weeks one summer writing a "fun research paper" on the subject. The conclusion was a paper with very cool diagrams called "Vehicular Propulsion from the Harnessing of Electromagnetic Repulsion & Photovoltaic Inertia." That means making your car run by the push effect of magnets and concentrated light beams - but I liked the cooler words. In my concluded state I was convinced I had just stumbled upon the secret key to the next industrial revolution - "The Age of Electromagnetism," the ultimate green solution to societies' needs!

I took my research paper to an industrial engineer at our church who was some uppity-up with a major oil (Kyle would say "Energy") firm. He read it and smiled. Sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation I figured he didn't get the full implication of my thesis. He then went, "This is great work, Mike. Very elegant way of connecting the dots and making something of electromagnetism. What you just discovered round aboutly and very comlexly is the original, most simple engine ever invented: the solenoid motor. About 200 years ago it really rocked the world and is now a key component of just about every vehicle and propulsion system in the world." My heart sank.

I had just reinvented the wheel, with the Rube Goldberg style of non-simplicity. Somehow we make the "Way of the Annointed One that is Jesus" a life journey of reinventing the wheel of truth shadows. We celebrate discovering a beautiful truth and mystery that has been lying in plain view for millenia, previously discovered, lost, rediscovered, lost and now sought again.

This entry was posted at Tuesday, May 06, 2008 and is filed under , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

3 thoughts and responses

Great Post.

May 6, 2008 at 10:05 AM

Just had to post this. Not exactly relevant but liked it anyway.

A wise man once said, "We tried to plan the service, but church broke out anyway."

May 6, 2008 at 11:14 AM

love is never found in a formula. it is an action that is either done (as unto him) or lost for eternity.

thank you for your heart and your honesty. now go back and re-read john's discipleship list...strike them all down and replace them with "love unconditionally".

darkness into light....

May 6, 2008 at 11:13 PM

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