Saturday, July 18, 2009

when lost

When unsettled for any reason at all, what do we do? What we do is important, because becoming unsettled in some way can result in a downward spiral which can have some undesirable or even disastrous results.

Yes, what we do I say, not what we believe, though it is true that what we really have faith in should determine what we do.

Why do I say that? Because often we can't see our way out of the fog and darkness we're in. Yes, sometimes believers do get lost (as a recent Michael Card song tells us), and we can find ourselves groping with the sense that what we've relied on before seems to be gone. Maybe akin to Jesus on the cross crying out, "My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?"

For me it means I need to pray to God, beginning with the prayer Jesus taught us to pray. And then I get into God's word. Maybe a passage will come to mind, or a book to work through. And I always ask my wife, Deb to pray for me during such times.

Usually in time, and in time is important by the way, that takes care of it. But if not, I may want to get together with my pastor or a good friend to share my struggle. Usually for me in recent years that has involved Deb, and sometimes friends by email.

Again it's important that when unsettled for any reason we both act, and that what we do is turned toward God in faith. Through prayer, the word, the fellowship of believers- all through Jesus by the Spirit. God will help us through, as we endeavor to walk through those dark times with him.

What would you like to share on this?


nancy said...

good advice.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nice new blog you have, Nancy. Nice to "hear" your voice again.


Lanny said...

Don't you think that what we really believe shows up in what we do and say when something comes along to rattle us?

Maalie said...

Do you think that you are gradually coming to realise, or to accept, that there may after all be something in what the scientists tell as?

Ted M. Gossard said...

Of course. I don't deny that, and I think I mention that in the post.

But it's this Jewish notion which then is a Biblical notion which we must heed. When we're lost, then there are certain things we need to DO. And for us, that involves "going to church." And all kinds of other things we should DO to seek to come near to God.

Ted M. Gossard said...


I don't see a real debate as to whether evolution is true or not (though I do find Susan's thoughts on that, interesting). My problem is with the metaphysical aspect smuggled in (not to say you can separate metaphysical from physical entirely, try as we may).

I think Creation Science brings in the metaphysical and that it impacts their science. Arguably, without throwing out the baby with the bathwater I think Darwin did that. And Dawkins perhaps unwittingly does it when he insists that no god exists. That's a metaphysical notion smuggled in if he sees it as part and parcel of science, don't you think?

Maalie said...

>And Dawkins...when he insists that no god exists

Ted, I must assert that you are incorrect here. He can simply find no independently verifiable evidence to support the notion of a supernatural deity, when (on the contrary) there is so much evidence for an alternative explanation.

It is good to discuss these things with you in a civilised way.

Ted M. Gossard said...



Okay, I'll accept your thought as perhaps being the better way of seeing it.

What about this? Should science meddle with faith? And should faith meddle with science?

Also, can science really prove that what science observes is really all there is?

Maalie said...

In many people's view, faith is simply a matter of believing in something for which there is no independently verifiable evidence. I had faith in the tooth fairy and Santa once.

In this regard the bible is a fantastically successful piece of marketing, promising all sorts of wonderful outcomes if you "have faith" and threatening hell fire, brimstone and damnation if you don't. There are many cults that operate in the same way (I would go so far as to say most cults).

Ted M. Gossard said...

The Bible is amazingly successful for sure.

But we Christians would argue that there is indeed evidence for Jesus' life, for what he did in the gospels, for his death by crucifixion which ordinarily would mean the dead end to all messianic pretensions, and indeed to Jesus' resurrection (read your bishop N.T. Wright's outstanding work, "The Resurrection of the Son of God.").

And for us it has meant a radical change in our own lives. Even in this mess and in the mess of our lives at times, we have a new center, and from that a new way from which we live, and from which we view all things.

Maalie said...

> Even in this mess and in the mess of our lives at times, we have a new center, and from that a new way from which we live, and from which we view all things.

I agree, but all faiths offer that effect. Atheists find a similar focus by getting absorbed in, for example, good causes for their own sake, not for some notional reward in a notional heaven.

Ted M. Gossard said...

All faiths do, but we have to look at them all with reference to the problem of evil, I believe.

That's where Christianity wins hands down over Pantheism or Deism. And as to Atheism, I know there are plenty of atheists who do good works. A lot of what atheists do has grounding in what they deny, we would argue.

In the end all must turn to Jesus the Messiah and Lord. Every knee will bow before him, and every tongue will acknowledge him, I believe. This is where the truth and answer for our world is to be found.

It involves faith to be sure, but we believe it is true, even if we only can get a glimpse of it, and feel in the dark so often, even lost. Jesus is the compass to lead us to the true north.