I ended up back at Radnor Lake State Park. This time I walked with a friend and we both chose one of the more difficult trails. Halfway though, I was seriously huffing and puffing like the fat hobbit from The Lord of the Rings. It wasn’t pretty.
When I was able to catch my breath and take in my surroundings, I was reminded again how very small I am in the grand scheme of things. I am a vapor and a mist in the perspective of eternity.
How dare I make myself or my feelings the standard by which I judge all other things? How dare I question God when He acts contrary to how I in my very finite wisdom think He should act?
A theology based on my feelings will be a very unsteady one. If anything I read in the Bible or hear from someone disturbs my equanimity, I dismiss it out of hand. I will end up with a very vague and toothless doctrinal system that has all the form of godliness but none of the transformational power. I end up with a gospel that is not the Gospel at all.
When I read my Bible and something offends my sensibilities, perhaps the error lies within me. Maybe I’m the one who needs to change. It could be that I need to step back and look through a much larger lens at the grand story authored by God that is unfolding in and around me.
Nature has a way of reorienting me when I get my priorities out of whack. Being out among the trees has a way of reminding me that I’m not the one calling the shots and running the show. I didn’t make any of it and I don’t sustain any of it. God did (and still does) it all.
Nature is so much more patient than I am. I am most thankful that God remains unceasingly patient with me through all my selfishness and fear and doubt.