When I was applying to college, my mom made me go talk to people from a really boring small honors college at a university nationally known for being a top party school. I had my sights set on higher things, more studious places. I was going to be a real academic.
But I went, and after my first meeting with the assistant dean at the Honors Tutorial College at Ohio University, I knew it was where I needed to be.
A little over three years later, I can’t imagine being anywhere else. Most of who I am today has been dependent on being part of the HTC or being a student at Ohio University. Sometimes, parents really do know what’s best for us.
When someone really cares about us and has more information than we do or a wider world view, they normally make decisions for us that we would make if we had all the information. That’s why I think my failure to not trust God is almost humorous.
God knows infinitely more than me. God cares about me infinitely. Why, then, would God want anything less than the best for me?
Sometimes I perceive God the way I perceived my mom when she was trying to get me to visit Ohio University. God wants me to give up what I really want in order to do something the way God wants it. But that’s not the way it is. God wants to stretch me so that I can consider the kind of options God considers for me.
Jesus said some stuff about this (Matthew 6:25-34):
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith? So do not worry, saying “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
God is going to dress us in clothes brighter than the flowers. We have only to let Her or Him.
After reading this post, I thought you might be interested in a completely irrelevant piece of information. I trust you know from experience how uncomfortable and unsatisfying it can be to say “her or him” whenever trying to avoid gender identification. Many academics from political scientists to linguistic scholars have proposed gender-neutral pronouns to avoid the power dynamic that exists between males and females and to better respect communication as shaping our understanding of the world. There have been dozens of nonstandard pronouns suggested (I studied “ze” specifically) to try to solve problems related to there not being a standard one. I just thought that since there is probably no better time to use a nongendered pronoun than when talking about God, and as someone who talks about zem a lot, you might find this useful.
Um, I think the fact that the scriptures use “he” is rather easy to see and understand. Yes, God is a spirit (John 4:24) but God has revealed Himself in the masculine sense. What would you change the reference of “Father” to? (Matthew 6:6,8,9) Political correctness is not as important as spiritual correctness if we’re going to talk about faith. I believe Spencer and any other writter is completely justified (like the scriptures) in using He when referring to God.
While it is true that God is nowhere a “she” in the Bible, the common English translations of the Hebrew of the Old Testament don’t really do the whole thing justice. As I’m sure you know, Hebrew nouns are always masculine or feminine. There are no neutral nouns. The Hebrew word for book “sefer” for example is masculine. Thus, it might be that God is no more masculine than a book. As far as the reference to “Father,” I think the more important aspect there is the relational nature. It is important that Jesus is the Son of God and that through Christ, we also are able to be children of God. I wonder if the Hebrew words for God had been feminine, might Jesus have said “Mother?”
This is actually really helpful. “Her or him” feels really messy. Thanks!