Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Imperfection

Hello,

My very erudite friend Maureen has offered to let me share her blog when I have a desire to spout off. What do you need to know about me? I enjoy fantasy and SF. I teach Composition and Literature to bored community college freshmen. I'm a non-denominational Christian with a slightly odd bent.

This week I've been suffering a particularly bad cold. It isn't as bad as the one I suffered through when we went to the Big Jewish Wedding, but near enough. I also have had to put up with my body's monthly--well you know--at the same time. Since I was introduced to this particular aspect of my life as a female, I have suspected that the human body is not particularly well designed and this has caused me some philosophical difficulties.

Did I mention that I majored in Medieval and Early Modern Literature? Well, anyway, Medieval people believed that since God is perfect, creation must also be perfect. They loved categories and they believed that everything had a logical place. Modern theorists, having taken God out of the picture, are much more in love with chaos and its theories both mathematical and philosophical.

Which brings me back to the messiness and imperfection of the universe. There could be several reasons why God allows this:

1. Things aren't as imperfect as they seem. Since I am not God and don't know the reasons for everything, I can't be expected to grasp this.

2. The world is fallen. Everything was perfect in Eden, but since then sin has entered the world and so we get a mess.

3. #1 and #2 plus God likes imperfection

Now I know that number three seems unlikely, but go with me for a minute. There are several passages in the New testimony in which Christians are called upon to be "perfect," however I am informed by a reliable Greek scholar I know that the Greek word is more accurately translated as "mature." In other words, God wants us to grow up, and I wish Him good luck with that, but he is not requiring that we be absolutely perfect. Since so much of life is manifestly not perfect, and since there isn't much we can do about that, but strive to improve, I believe that God must like imperfection. Messiness must appeal to Him in some way.

Some people see God as the kid who upsets the ant hill to watch the ants scurry about. That's not what I'm saying. God isn't a sadist. However, He also doesn't seem to be like the kid at the science fair who is elated when all of the equations match. Who would have expected Moses to free his people or Saul to become Paul? God has a sense of humor.

At least that's what I like to believe as I sit here sniffling, missing church and wondering how I'm going to teach two three hour classes tomorrow with a sore throat and cough.

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