June 10, 2013

Galatians 1:15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased…

 

I’m currently reading a book in which the main character believes that the universe is expanding from the big bang and eventually will slow and then begin to contract until it all collapses back in on itself and that will be the end of the universe. He is not worried about this because long before that happens our sun will collapse in on itself and then explore turning earth and everything on it to cinders. And he is not even worried about that because long before that happens he will be dead and his atoms recombined into other things and he will be no more. And yet he lives out his life in the book as if all the plot twists and turns are terribly important and matter a great deal at least to him. No matter how much we cling to this cosmology as humans we continue to speak as if things have purpose and meaning and destiny. We say couples are meant for each other, that things were fated to happen, that it is written in the stars (you remember Romeo and Juliet were “star-crossed”). Paul was a pretty bright guy and new much about the way people saw life in his day. These same tensions about destiny and meaning were present then also. He made the claim from his experience of Jesus that God was guiding all things, himself included, to an appointed end. He didn’t have all the details but as his life unfolded he looked back and saw the pattern. Did he have problems with the fact that his story ended with him getting beheaded in Rome? Maybe. But he was also able to write along that road that he had learned to be content in all things. How are you living this week? Are you in a world of impersonal forces and all that may mean? Or in some way has God set you apart for something, right from your birth, like Paul? What might that mean for the way you live this week?

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