This morning while walking into my son’s preschool, we had an interesting conversation about Easter. I asked him what Easter was all about.
“God died and then he came back to life!” my son enthusiastically replied.
Hmm… sounds a bit Nietzche-ish, I worried. So I gently corrected him by saying, “Jesus died and then he came back to life.”
Wait, but Jesus is God. This is getting confusing.
“No mom,” my son said, “you’re getting it all mixed up. Jesus is the son! They’re not the same guy!”
Not sure what to say — and noting all the other kids going into the preschool classroom — I simply said, “Oh, OK.”
So the Trinity has my son thoroughly confused.
And in all honesty, it certainly has me confused when I really try to think about it. When it comes to the Trinity, simplistic explanations just don’t do it for me — this is one of those mysterious areas of faith that is better left mysterious. But often we do the same thing to ourselves that I did to my son — when the mystery feels uncomfortable, we quiet it down and shove it aside. We stick to the comfortable, understandable aspects of faith. The explainable things.
Mysteries like the Trinity and some of those other uncomprehensible areas of Christian faith present us with a few choices.
1) Dumb-down the concept into a simple, understandable explanation. Remove all sense of mystery. Make it comfortable and simple. And in the process, lose an accurate perspective on God and his Truths.
2) Ignore it. Leave it in the margins of faith. Stick with the basics. Don’t tread near those issues that can bring about doubt & fear. And in the process, possibly loose your faith entirely when a challenging issue just won’t leave you alone.
3) Dive in. Soak it up. Live in the paradox. Accept the mystery. Not with a blind acceptance, but with a mindful acceptance. How? Through meditation and contemplation. Through time in silence and quietness, wordlessly waiting in God’s presence. Not waiting for an epiphany of understanding in which everything becomes clear. But waiting yet for God’s peace, for a sense of spiritual understanding that supercedes logical explanations.
When my daughter naps today, I’m going to take some time to quietly contemplate the Trinity. Not so I can explain it in 3 easy steps to my son. Not so I can figure out a way to remove the mystery and confusion. But simply so I can seek to know God better.
How have times of quietness with God helped you know God better? How have the mysteries of faith strengthened your walk with Jesus?