I can’t tell you how many times I’ve chucked the intro for today’s post. What’s worth saying? What words are going to be of actual benefit to you, the reader, and what words are just vacuous self-indulgence? Why even bother? I don’t know. Due to logistical necessities, we are back in the God’s Little Deconstruction Book series, and there’s nothing to do but move forward.
Do you ever worry about running out of things? Full disclosure: I do. But not things like money or food. I worry about running out of things to do or learn. I’ll drag out a task just to delay that moment when I complete it and have to ask, “What do I do next?” The possibility that time does not exist in heaven still unnerves me, as if the world had finally run out of events–or the prospect of a heaven that’s just endless repetition of the same activities, as if God had run out of new and interesting things to have happen. And historically, I have worried that maybe there was nothing to begin with. I worry that maybe I’ll come to the end of my life and discover that not only have I run out of me, but moreover there was no me to begin with, that there wasn’t anything, that God is nonbeing and heaven is union with him in illusory existence’s own self-annihilation. I fear running out of reality.
For better or worse, I have a bias for certain passages, and the first part of 1 Corinthians 15 is one of them. And honestly, approaching my favorite passages can be intimidating. I want to provide a good introduction for those unfamiliar with the passage, supply helpful information to expand others’ understanding of the passage, and show those for whom it might not be a favorite passage why I’m so fond of it. I want to do right by the passage. But my own expectations can be crippling, and here I am searching for pages on Pascal’s Wager when I should be digging into today’s chapter. I can’t cover everything in a single blog post. It’s not gonna be perfect, but let’s get to it.
Greetings, all you Black Friday blog-readers. I’m writing live from scenic My Grandmother’s House, as indicated by the different plate and tablecloth. I wanted to get a post up on Thanksgiving, but after spending half the day driving, and then Thanksgiving dinner and checking out the Christmas lights display…well, the post didn’t happen. But here I am again, back today with Isaiah 40. The chapter begins with a command from God: “Comfort, comfort my people,” (40:1), so let’s take a look at the comfort he proposes.
If you’re anything like me, you consider what you say carefully. You ensure that you can trust people before you open up to them; until you drop your guard, every conversation is an experimental trial to see what you can safely share with whom. You gather data and run simulations in your head of possible conversations, testing for optimal outcomes. And you try to make your goal to say the right thing, the thing that is of greatest benefit rather than the thing that makes the most people like you and best hides your faults. But it’s tough. So you don’t speak much. And sometimes you keep it bottled up inside until you feel like you can’t hold it in anymore, and you’ve got to open the floodgates.