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question_mark_blueWe live in mystery.

It’s not something people talk about much. But it’s as constant as the northern star and worthy of examination.

Some people like to talk about knowing God. And that is possible for people of faith, especially those who follow Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is the son of God. But the mystery remains.

An ancient wisdom writer puts it this way: “When I determined to load up on wisdom and examine everything taking place on earth, I realized that if you keep your eyes open day and night without even blinking, you’ll still never figure out the meaning of what God is doing on this earth. Search as hard as you like, you’re not going to make sense of it. No matter how smart you are, you won’t get to the bottom of it.”

When asked about the end of the world, Jesus told His followers, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

So there it is. Mystery, haunting us like it haunted the people of Jesus’ day.

For me, the mystery extends to something most of us don’t think about: what we eat.

I was a vegetarian for 20 years. It was due to ethical reasons and, when I made that choice in 1997, it was with a great deal of emotion and I opted to end any sort of conscious and intentional relationship with God.

But still, the mystery remained, confounding me like a concrete wall I could not climb over or see around. It dominated my psyche and, I’m sure, sometimes made me unpleasant to be around.

Finally, after five years of a face-to-face confrontation with this wall, the anger quietly gave way to a grey numbness. People who have known me for a long time can tell you I’m not a grey person and I don’t do numbness well, so I took the advice of a friend and turned away from the wall.

That turning away was in the form of prayers, spoken on a ski resort chair lift with a friend who follows Jesus.

They weren’t the anguished words of confession or a heartfelt cry of release. They were more like the opening salvo in contract negotiations, something along the lines of “let’s try to find a way to get along.”

In retrospect, it’s clear they were the words for which God was patiently waiting, because when we were next on the chair lift and my buddy asked how I felt, I replied, in a tone of utter astonishment, that I felt better.

The facts that influenced my becoming a vegetarian are as rock-hard real today as they were in 1997. But what happened that day in the Rocky Mountains, and has progressed to this, is I finally, finally let God be God.

That means I agreed to accept and become comfortable with the mystery of Him — the fact there are things we fragile, imperfect humans can never hope to understand during our time on planet Earth.

For many people, this isn’t easy to do. My own experience is glow-in-the-dark proof. But think of it this way: Would you really WANT to understand everything about our creator? He wouldn’t be much of a God then, would He?

Over the years, another friend has often had an email signature that said ‘Living in His mystery.’ For me, once the notion of living in God’s mystery became acceptable, I began to rejoice in it, to realize this is a vital part of taking a step of faith that makes this confession: God is God. And I am not.

What do you think? Does this make any sense? Post a comment below and let’s start a conversation.

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