Monday, January 03, 2011

The difficulty or freedom of belief in God

A source of struggle or peace?

It may seem to some incredibly terrible that one should believe in God and defy him! But do none of us, who say also we believe in God, and who are far from defying him, ever behave like Mrs. Wylder? It is one thing to believe in a God; it is quite another to believe in God! Every time we grumble at our fate, every time we are displeased, hurt, resentful at this or that which comes to us, every time we do not receive the suffering sent us, "with both hands," as William Law says, we are of the same spirit with this half-crazy woman. In some fashion, and that a real one, she must have believed in the God against whom she urged her complaint; and it is rather to her praise that, like Job, she did it openly, and not with mere base grumblings in her heart at her fireside. It is mean to believe half-way, to believe in words, and in action deny.

One of four gates stands open to us: to deny the existence of God, and say we can do without him; to acknowledge his existence, but say he is not good, and act as true men resisting a tyrant; to say, "I would there were a God," and be miserable because there is none; or to say there must be a God, and he must be perfect in goodness or he could not be, and give ourselves up to him heart and soul and hands and history.


George MacDonald, "The Parson's Parable," There and Back Again, 111.

No comments: