Sunday, May 30, 2010

Unclear ramblings... don't read

It seems it's been a while since I've really written about a subject with the intention of finding an answer. I don't just mean posted on this blog, but actually taken the time to really think over and meditate on a subject. I've thought about things, true, but I just haven't really been searching for answers. I think I've just been enjoying the process of thought. Certain philosophies have crept into my mind unawares, and I suppose it's partially because of those philosophies that I haven't really taken the time needed to gain answers. These philosophies would include the 'don't worry about the answer, the enjoyment comes from the questions,' and 'you've always got time to figure these things out, just enjoy your day today.'
What a rude awakening I've received lately. It seems like God has finally allowed the dam to burst; the dam that allowed me to store questions away for 'further observation.' Issues that I am incapable of giving adequate, Scriptural (for every good answer surely must be rooted in the Scriptures) answers to complicated questions. A friend of mine has challenged me on the idea of having answers to questions. He thinks life is such that we just kind of depend on God during the period that we go through trials, and we learn both the questions and the answers during that time. I grew so uncomfortable when he was trying to explain this to me, but I couldn't adequately support my belief that we need to be rooted in God's Word (knowing what God has to say in His Word about issues) before the situation arises. I'm reading Psalm 119 right now. I'm absolutely amazed at how the Psalmist approaches the Word of God in nearly every verse! At one point he says that his soul is 'crushed with longing after (the Word of God) at all times.'
I realize what someone may say to this. Someone might well say, 'you're using a circular argument.' This may seem to be true on the surface, but the argument runs much deeper than this. Let me put forward the argument like this:
1) I believe that Christ is who He said He is on the basis of the resurrection.
2) I received the news of His resurrection from the Scriptures.
3) The same Scriptures which tell me of His resurrection tell me of His life.
4) Jesus is shown to have a high view of the Word of God, and tells me His Word is true.

5) I believe the Word of God is true.

6) I believe what the Word of God says about itself.

I guess that, in a nutshell is why I believe the Word of God to be so important. The reason isn't because the Bible tells me so (although, in a way, yes it is), but rather that Jesus proved His claims by rising from the dead.

This was not supposed to be what this blog was about, though. The real thing I wanted to write about was the idea of compartmentalization. I've been told recently by a friend of mine that 'Christians tend to compartmentalize life,' and that this is a bad thing. The idea really resonated with me, but not in a good way. Of course I didn't have an answer, nor did I even try to engage the idea at the moment, I just let it pass away into the air. But I've been thinking about it. The reason I've been thinking about it is because I do compartmentalize life. I put ideas into categories. I filter comments and remarks people make through the appropriate compartments that they touch upon. It's what I do. Is it bad?

Thinking about it, I've got to say no, it isn't bad. It's actually helpful to me. The reason I compartmentalize ideas is not because I want splinter life into different categories and divide life into separate, unconnected areas. The reason I compartmentalize is because it helps me understand the whole. I'm not infinite. God is. He surely does not view truth and life in propositional statements or ideas. I do. I must. I must because I'm not infinite and have no hope of ever seeing truth like that. Let me give an illustration. Take a watch. A watch has distinct parts to it, all of which contribute to make a watch. If one of those parts isn't working properly, the whole watch doesn't work properly. This is true of any kind of machine or system. The parts in and of themselves are separate entities which are composed of certain elements of their own. They are distinct, but they are all connected. Life and ideas to me seem a lot like that. I separate thoughts into categories, and I seek to know what the Bible says about a certain topic, not because I only want to know about that topic or idea, but because I want my life to run more smoothly, to be more in line with what God has designed. I need to know the parts in order to have a complete, working whole. That's why it's important for me to think about subjects, and then once understand what God has spoken about a particular subject, to see how it fits with the whole of His message.

Anyways, the conclusion of all of this is that I need to begin taking the questions I encounter and looking for the answers. I need to be diligent to find the answers, so that I can live my life adequately in the truth of God. I'm sorry to any of you who didn't heed the warning of the title of this blog. I really just wanted to throw some not-well-thought-through notions on paper (or screen) as a reminder for myself later of the importance of thinking through issues to find answers.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Sometimes things happen to me or I witness things and just chuckle about them to myself. I don’t tell anyone about them. I’ve been thinking that it’s kind of sad that I don’t tell anyone, because sometimes they’re funny little anecdotes or interesting stories that add some colour to my life’s story. I thought I’d just write about them and post them on my blog. That way they’re recorded, so I can remember them, and the 3 of you who read my blog will also be in on some stories with me!
This week two things of note happened to me. On Monday night, I was walking to a meeting in Seomyeon from our apartment(which is a good distance). I had debated if I should drive, take the bus/subway or walk. I really wasn’t sure, and I made the decision to walk. During my walk I came to a point where I needed to cross the street. I waited at the crosswalk patiently for the ‘walk’ sign to appear. When it appeared I began to cross the road, the whole time being sort of lost in thought and prayer. I was rudely jostled out of my state of reflection/supplication by the sound of an engine revving. I glanced to my left and what did I see but a sedan accelerating in my direction. Over my years in Korea, I’ve learned that red lights don’t often seem to command the same respect to drivers that they do back home. I prepared myself to jump on the hood of the car (as I’d done a couple years earlier) and shouted a rather forceful ‘HEY!!!!’ The car came screeching to a halt about a foot and a half in front of me. I looked up and saw before me a woman, scared and embarrassed. I then continued with my walk, shaking my head a little.

Earlier in the same walk something happened that I couldn’t stop myself from laughing at. Close to our apartment is a police station, and in front of it there was some loud yelling. A confrontation between a short, near-elderly taxi driver and a tall, young, well-to-do arrogant man was taking place. The taxi driver was yelling at the young man and the young man’s girlfriend or wife was yelling at the taxi driver. The young man was making remarks, and was clearly upset, but wasn’t talking as rapidly as either the taxi driver or the woman. I was wondering if I was going to see a fight take place. What happened just blew my mind, and it’s a picture I won’t soon forget! All of a sudden the young man spat in the face of the taxi driver. The taxi driver grew enraged and spit in the young man’s face, rather comically and with some effort because of the height difference. Surely, I thought, this will come to blows. Again I was wrong. A spitting war ensued. I’ve never seen anything like it! It was like two sprinklers fighting. Each wet blow was followed with a wet response. Finally, the taxi driver gave a weak slap to the young man’s face (it was so weak it actually resembled more of a push). The young man responded with facewashing (hockey fans know what this is) the taxi driver. The ‘fight’ ended with the taxi driver wiping his glistening head with a handkerchief and looking around, wounded, as though trying to find someone to verify that he’d been wronged by the young man. It was at that moment that I was sure that I made the right choice to walk to Seomyeon.