It is so so easy to get lost in the trees, and miss the proverbial forest. Now without the trees, of course, there would be no forest, and vice versa—the whole part to whole/whole to part thingy. But what I want to reflect upon in this short post is how important it is to keep the forest as the perspective by which we approach the various trees; how important it is to realize that there is a broader nexus holding together the nearer knotholes as it were.
When I was but a wee Fundamentalist living in my tree-house it was so easy to set up fort and defend my network of tree-houses moment by moment. I was trapped. Then my life was contradicted, my tree-house was shown to be something floating in mid-air with no real trunk underneath. My life was contradicted by Jesus, and it still is. And I was set free, free indeed. Jesus showed me that all my tree-houses and forts were nothing but wood, hay and stubble; and that all I was really fighting for was my own constructs, my own ideas, and that the big idea holding them together was me and my fears.
Well, once I realized that Jesus was bigger than anything I could ever conceive, ever hope to construct; I was finally free to look to him, and realize that he holds it altogether. He is the ‘inner-logic’ so to speak that keeps the black and red ink on the pages of scripture. Once I encountered Jesus in this way, I was free, truly free to look to God in Christ, and realize that he is so much bigger, so much newer, so much fresher than anything heretofore I had ever been confronted with. My life lost its sense of security, I couldn’t look to something that I had built, and worship it as God anymore (like Micah the Levite did). I lost all control, and I had to finally admit that I couldn’t come up with a totalizing (modernist) answer that created world peace or chaos. I finally was allowed to say “I don’t know,” but I do know the One who does.
We are all Fundies at heart. We all worship pictures of the sublime, but until we realize those pictures are of ourselves we will always live out of a fear that can only and finally be circumscribed by a genuine fear of the truly sublime, who is God in Jesus Christ.