Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mysterious Fear

The (final) season premiere of LOST was last night and true to form, nothing was cleared up and more questions were raised. (Talk about split personalities!) That's the show's modus operandi and that is why people love it. It is a mystery. It keeps people guessing and never makes things completely crystal clear. We love intrigue. We love not knowing. We love to guess and dream.
But only on TV.

In real life, mystery is a whole different matter. Then we want certainty, fact and proof. If geometry class taught us anything it is that we can't just look at two triangles with two like angles and say that they are proportional; we have to write a page-long proof in something resembling a foreign language to make certain.

Mystery in real life means danger. It means we don't know what's going to happen, so we can't take every precaution before it happens. It's no mystery that driving a car into a tree, telephone pole, brick wall or another car will cause the car to stop faster than those riding in the car. We know this, so we can prepare with seat belts, antilock brakes and airbags. Less mystery, less danger, less fear.

I say forget that. No mystery means no excitement means no fun. No mystery means no fear means no faith. Jesus spends all of Matthew 24 confusing his disciples. He tells them the temple is going to come crashing down, that people will claim to be him, that there will be wars and famines and destruction and false prophets and death and destruction and that they will never know when the end is really coming. He fills them with mystery... and with fear.

Fear and mystery aren't the end goal, but they are main ingredients in what Jesus was really preparing. Faith is trusting God in the midst of fear and mystery. Jesus tells them that their futures will have plenty of both, it is up to them to trust him through it all. The same it true of us.

We spend so much time trying to figure God out, when really we should be focused on trusting him when we're scared and unsure.

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