I’ve always been uncomfortable with Greek and Roman mythology. I’ve avoided teaching it in the classroom. But this year I’m “forced” to teach it and my discomfort meter is twanging in the high-end zone.
But why?
It’s just a bunch of made up stories that the ancients used to explain their lives and the processes of nature around them. The stories are fun (naughty, but fun), exciting, and apply themselves directly to many facets of our literature and culture. So what’s the hold up?
It’s the parallels to my Bible.
Every time I laughingly say, “Okay, so that’s how they explain that! They believe that stuff?”, I’m reminded of stories in my own Bible that to many would seem just as ridiculous — Noah and the ark, David and Goliath, the miracles of Jesus, Satan walking the earth, even the resurrection. To many – too many – these, too, are myths, too ridiculous to be believed. And then there are the myths that seem to directly parallel biblical stories.
And, most shameful of all, the suggestion of skepticism burrows into my susceptible, too-weak brain and I find myself wondering…
Faith seems to be such a fragile thing. And yet, it has changed lives, won wars, done miracles, ruled lives, healed diseases, given strength beyond measure and peace beyond understanding. Doesn’t sound all that fragile to me.
Perhaps part of faith is believing not just “because,” but “in spite of.” Perhaps faith, a seemingly easy endeavor, isn’t all that easy after all. When to maintain it you sometimes have to go beyond reason and logic, that separates the men from the boys, so to speak.
Some would say it takes a fool to believe beyond reason and logic. But people far greater and more intelligent than I have taken that plunge and have been swimming like Olympians (pardon the mythological pun) ever since. Too often I feel like I’m merely treading water.
So what to do? To continue the metaphor, I think I slip into my Holy Spirit Life Preserver and stay in the water. No matter how tired I become, no matter how much the water begins to look like ink or even sand, I hang onto that Life Preserver and know that it would not be keeping me afloat in anything other than water. And I keep asking for improvements in my strength and in my vision so I’m not clinging so much as swimming with assistance, eventually swimming not without assistance, but more with a Partner.
Because that is one of the greatest differences between me and the ancient Greeks. My God is living and truly eternal and He walks WITH me. Rather than controlling me and my life and manipulating my circumstances, using me and throwing me away, my God directs me as a loving Father, and always for my good.
Even when I act like a child, allowing doubt again and again to wrap like weights around my ankles, threatening to drown me, His hand is below me, ready to buoy me back up.

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4 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thursday

  1. Enjoyed your thought but it is hard when you set back and take a long look and think I am really expecting non christians to believe all this.Mostly when they can say well I can read the same thing in a fiction book or watch a movie.Some people believe in luck not miricales and thats sad. Isnt God wonderful!

    1. I agree! Also, how many well-meaning people do I know who base their theology on books other than the Bible? These same people will share “truths” that they got from movies! I want to tell them – Hollywood’s got nothing on the Word of God! Go read Esther and you’ll see what I mean! You pray that their eyes are opened soon here because they won’t be carrying their books and their dvd’s into the afterlife…..
      Thanks for the comments, Patty!

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