Flights of Faith

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Absolution: Not from ourselves, from God

Found this while webtrolling...

"And that's when you realize why [Rafael] Nadal, like so many young people his age, speaks in absolutes. He is too old not to have answers and too young to know there aren't any.

How to be humble and yet confident?
How to be quiet and still be heard?
Even, How to find God when there's so much pain in the world?

"I would like to believe there is a God, but I think it is better to say I'm not sure there is a God and live your life with kindness and respect for people than to say I know there is a God and then do bad things," he said.

You know, come to think of it, he might have that God thing down. I wonder what's next on the list?" - LZ Granderson [ESPN]

Sigh, two things strike me from this feature piece on Nadal, a top ranked tennis player expected to go far in the ongoing French Open.

1) We are all so afraid of being hypocrites. It is if we delay any type of metamorphosis until we somehow know we've achieved perfection without ever even trying. Except that last part never happens. We just wait and remain unchanged.

2) This whole belief system relies on the notion that we can have "kindness and respect for people" without Christ. It's easy to see why so many Christians critique a position like this from the underbelly, the use of an Ultimate Truth. It effectively ends the conversation. But isn't that part of the problem? That can't be all we say. We need to talk this through.

The recognition of a God is not enough. After all, the Devil knows God exists. Recognition must enter one into a relationship with a cleansing and gracious God. We cannot afford to be paralyzed by guilt over not being perfect. That is an impossible feat for us. Instead, we can choose to get better, grow stronger, and, most importantly, look to the Cross for forgiveness and a sense of renewal.

Nadal’s main error is assuming that God will not help him identify his bad actions and correct them. God never abandons us and acknowledging Him is the beginning of a journey that promises we will never be alone. It’s not a lone tightrope demanding perfection without providing a hand when we lose our balance.

Recognition should produce fruits. Life changes. We will not, in any sense, be perfect. However, we will have unlimited counsel and unconditional love from someone who is. As long as we do not abuse this unwarranted grace, we accept a lifestyle of constant transformation for the better.

Yes, Nadal. I will fail. And fail again and again.
But I cannot do this by myself.
I may be a hypocrite, but I am not a fool.
I need God.


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