Competing or Complementing

The spiritual endowments that both indwell and envelop us are not at odds with one another. They are steadfastly working on our behalf in a complementary fashion, in unison, in concert. Just as the various systems within a healthy human body are designed and orchestrated from on high, ministering spirits are unified and coordinated in accordance with an overarching principle. The Law within our Universe of Universes is Life. The cardinal precepts, throughout the entire cosmos, are life affirming.

We are the beneficiaries of a nurturing environment that operates in accordance with certain design imperatives. Among these are somehow making provision for arenas of choice. Our comprehension of Infinity and Eternity gives rise to a challenging concept described as Divinity Tension. From our perspective, between life temporal and life eternal, there is what some have described as a Great Divide. And yet, Our Eternal God intentionally bridged that divide when he so loved the world that he gave his Son, so that we would not perish but have everlasting life.

Sooo, even to the time-bound and space-fettered mind of human kind, it would appear that God level access means that he is able to bridge any divide at will. Could it be that part of the tension we perceive is due to the choice that God can make between being everywhere at once and somewhere specific at the most appropriate time? In other words, does God, by his own volition, ever limit himself? And is Infinity somehow confining? Curious minds want to know. Just how does one, who occupies all of Infinity, create the Divine equivalent of elbow room?

And what about the competing views that God is either existential or experiential? Of course, if he is God, he can choose to exist and also experience. After all, who are we to deny him that choice? And that gives rise to yet another controversy. Our ancestors were reluctant to even name God because it was thought to be disrespectful. After all, isn’t naming just another form of coercive labeling? Are we reducing God to fit in a compartmentalized box for our own convenience, to fit our naming conventions?

Here’s what we do know. God is bigger than even our most fanciful descriptions. His creation is more symphonic than anyone ever imagined. And, his mercies are far greater than what we have any right to expect. The nurturing infrastructure we inhabit was designed and is maintained for child rearing. It features an array of problems that we are free to perceive as either distressingly insurmountable or as stimulating challenges.

Some may rise to greet the morning sun while others may not. Charles Darwin said “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one.” The uncertainties of life do not contradict the sovereignty of God. If we are never confronted with insecurities and recurring uncertainties, just how are we to manifest hope?

Unless we are, at times, reacting to disappointment and grappling with hardship, just how are we to develop strength of character? How are we, as coordinate creators, to evolve societal benevolence without encountering and addressing social inequality? How can we ever mature in an abiding faith unless we, at times, know less than we can believe? How can we appreciate and favor truth unless contrastive error and falsehood are possible?

How can spiritual idealism ever emerge victorious without the relative goodness and beauty that prompts us to reach for better things? How will we ever know loyalty without considering the possibilities of betrayal and desertion? And, how can we overcome the self’s incessant clamoring for recognition and honor, without deliberately choosing the divine life and intentionally embarking on a career characterized by self-forgetfulness?

In each of these situations we are called upon to grow in that grace which is defined as unmerited favor. Many of the experiences we gain are simply a matter of rehearsing for the vicissitudes of life. Others are a true test of stamina as we develop the quality of endurance. In every case, the celestial process is one of continuously perfecting us. We learn from our failures as well as our successes.

We are told that all things work together for good, for those who love God, and are called in accordance with his purpose. While we are learning to think as adults, we should also be learning to pray as children. Jesus told the apostles to allow the little children to come to him; He said “forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

In the natural world, life can be brutally competitive. In the life of the Spirit, life is complementary for there are shared objectives, a sincere devotion to acting in accordance with the Divine will, and a supreme satisfaction with any accomplishment that brings honor to our Creator Father and Son. Life is but a day’s work – we are called to do it well. The act is ours; the consequences God’s.

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