Lately I’ve received a few emails asking me in essence (or … directly, actually) why, when it comes to my beliefs about God, I’m so confident.
The answer is that I have no idea why. I can’t even really answer that, because to me it’s like asking a bird why it thinks it knows so much about air. What else can it know? What else do I know, beyond the same core stuff that I think everybody knows? For all sorts of (usually not good) reasons, people like to sort of pretend that they aren’t positively loaded with hardcore convictions about pretty much everything having to do with God, nature, and man. But that’s just an act they’ve learned as (generally speaking) a means of avoiding having to actually commit to firm conclusions. (Which … is really a whole other conversation we really must have sometime.)
But they know. You know. I know. We all know. Everyone knows who they’re supposed to be, and how they’re supposed to act. We all know the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, light and dark. We know what really matters in life. We know love is the most awesome human power in the world.
If I’m more confident about God than the next person, that’s because the next person is thinking more than I do. I’m not more confident; I’m just less industrious. (Except … it’s also true that I’ve spent my whole life purposefully thinking about exactly this sort of stuff. It’s all I do; it’s all I’ve ever done.) I don’t fight the Good, or The Force, or The Divine, or whatever anyone might want to call The Giant Overarching Presence. I accept it. I accept the reality and enduring truth of a universal source, power, structure, morality.
I call it God—and think of/feel it as the Christian God, because the simple, undiluted story of Jesus is 100%, absolutely perfect. In this sense, I know God. I know Jesus. I know human nature. I know myself.
I don’t think life is complicated. I think it seems complicated, until you get okay with all the stuff about it that you can’t possibly know. Which is basically all of it.
Life isn’t about knowing; it’s about being okay with not knowing. And since that’s impossible—since no one can really be okay with being as fundamentally ignorant as we all are about pretty much everything we most care about—it’s about living into your ignorance with a kind of knowing that above all holds itself lightly.
Except when anyone is being victimized. Then it’s time to get real sure about shit.
I dunno. I thought I’d be able to answer this a lot more quickly than apparently (at this moment anyway) I’m able.
I’m confident because I’m alive. And that gives me certain rights. And one of those rights is to know God. And the key to doing that is to constantly and consciously get out of the way, so that God can tell me who he/she/it is.
I’m not wise. I just know how to be quiet and listen.