~ The Call of Christ ~
Part 4 of 4
Click here for Part 3
You may of heard of the mathematical "proof" that the rabbit could never beat the turtle in a race if the turtle had a head start. The same mathematical argument applies to the impossibility of your being able to touch a tabletop. OK, start from one inch above the table. Before touching the table you must go half way first. No argument there. So now you are 1/2 the way there. But before you can touch the table, you must go half way there first. Can you dispute that? So you are now 1/4 of the way. Again, before you can go all the way, you must go half way, right? So now you are 1/8 of the way. Then you must go 1/16 of the way, then 1/32, then 1/64, then 1/128…ad infinitum. Literally! Ad infinitum! There are an infinite number of fractions that you must travel through to get to that tabletop. Shouldn't that take you an infinite amount of time? No matter how close you get, even if it is one-zillionth of an inch, you still must travel half that distance before going on. Then half of that, and so on.
In the physical world, you do go through an infinity when you finally touch that table or catch up to that turtle ahead of you. Spiritual laws are quite different. Some religious traditions teach we can reach the perfection of heaven through repeated reincarnations until we finally, through thousands of life times, get close enough to "jump" that final gap. With an infinite number of fractions to travel, does it really matter that some of us are 1/2 inch away and some one-zillionth inch away? What is half of one-zillionth anyway? Is it really any closer than a half-inch? Being half of one-zillionth away, in the kingdom of God's framework, may be much further away than a half-inch if you're proud of it!
Some of you feel a zillion miles away from the throne of God, from the veil of the Holy of Holies. Feelings do create a reality for us in which we must live. However this reality is not God's creation. We must go through an infinity to reach the throne of our Lord. We really can't. Only He can go through that infinity for us and to us, only He can stand in that infinite gap, and He does in the Person of Christ. He rescues us from eons of futile reincarnations, from tons of futile attempts at removing that bad side of the scale of good and bad deeds and thoughts. The heavens are perfect, and the one-zillionth little piece of imperfection would ruin them. A person's one-zillionth closeness to God is as infinitely away as the guy in the back of the temple, asking God to have mercy on him as a sinner, who feels a zillion miles away from perfection and worth.
Supporting scripture abounds: "If you obey every law except one, you are still guilty of breaking them all." (James 2:10.) "All of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory." (Romans 3:23.) "Christ carried the burden of our sins." (1 Peter 2:24.) "Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between Himself and us, and He has given us the work of making peace between Himself and others. What we mean is that God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And He has given us the work of sharing His message about peace. We were sent to speak for Christ, and God is begging you to listen to our message. We speak for Christ and sincerely ask you to make peace with God. Christ never sinned! But God treated Him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God." (2 Corinthians 5:17-21.)
Every day I am increasingly awed by the prospect of the Creator and All-Powerful God "begging" us to listen; by how He pursues us since we trying to pursue the Almighty Source of all, on our terms, is like trying to fly into the sun. Isn't a teachable, receptive person, perhaps your own son, daughter or a student, a joy to work with? When someone is teachable and receptive, you both can delightfully journey so far, learn and grow so much! But when people are resistant, unreceptive, uninterested, not much can be done with them, to our sadness.
As below, so above. When we are teachable and receptive, our Father delights in taking us as far as we will go with Him. When we are resistant or inattentive, God stands at the door of our hearts and knocks, begging us to let Him in. Our God is such an awesome, overwhelming Person of pure love, the Source of all hope, faith and life! "We work together with God, and we beg you to make good use of God's kindness to you. In the Scriptures God says, 'When the time came, I listened to you, and when you needed help, I came to save you.' That time has come.This is the day for you to be saved." (2 Corinthians 6:1-2.)
John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
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Weekly Reflections © July 20, 2000
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