Tag Archives: Paradox

Best Things and Worst Things

BestWorstI’ve used these phrases so often, I might as well claim that they are original with me and quote myself!

“The best things and the worst things are sometimes the same things”
— me

“Often times, we get best and worst backwards”
— me

“The best things in life and the worst things in life are often only known in the rear-view mirror”
— me

I don’t know how many times some situation or event seemed to be great, but years later I saw that it wasn’t. Or how many times some terrible event was the springboard for something amazing. Sometimes I think of Thomas Edison and his failures, or when his factory burned down. They were terrible. Or where they?

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”
–Thomas A. Edison

Beginnings: Embrace Paradox

Embrace Paradox

ParadoxBillboardOver and over I get slapped in the face with things that just can’t possibly co-exist. Opposites. Contradictions. Big things and small.

Scientists, engineers and mathematicians tell us things like:

  • Light is particles. And waves
  • Parallel lines, if extended to infinity, cross
  • Space is warped
  • Time and gravity impact each other
  • Time speeds up or slows down depending on how fast your are moving
  • Time doesn’t exist. (but didn’t it yesterday?) So how does it slow down?

Funny how these same scientists will use conundrums to “prove” that God isn’t real. Sure, there are many biblical and Christian paradoxes. I’ve made a list of a few.

Paradox. Conundrum. Contradiction. They are all around us. Life gets easier when you embrace them!

Last Updated: 10/18/2014

If you find these Beginnings posts of interest, you can find a full list here.

 

Paradoxes

Conundrum(Yes, that is the plural of Paradox, I looked it up)

Paradox: “truth standing on her head to get attention
–G. K. Chesterton

Maybe conundrum would be a better word. You choose.

I’ve been a collector of some oddities for years. Below is a sampling. This particular set is slightly theology oriented. Keep in mind, I’m not a theologian. I believe God operates in paradox all the time. In many ways, “paradox” is another name for God! So, with that minor introduction, here are a few things that I find interesting, or even perplexing! I hope no one perceives any irreverence in this. Certainly not my intent!

  1. God wants communication/connection/relationship, yet is invisible/silent!
  2. Lose your life to find it
  3. Die to live
  4. First will be last, and vice versa
  5. Servant vs. leader
  6. Understanding vs. childlike faith
  7. Free will vs. predestination
  8. Our “call” to be sinless; original sin; the plan for salvation before the formation of the world
  9. God is not the author of sin; Satan’s fall from heaven (sin even in heaven?); Satan’s placement on earth of all places!
  10. Desire/Pleasure (lust) vs. Obedience
  11. Humility vs. God’s glory
  12. Male sexuality vs. purity/fidelity  (or female attractiveness vs. fidelity)
  13. Man is made in the image of God, yet not to be like God (especially in glory)
  14. God is spirit, we are physical
  15. Spiritual warfare — we’re told of it, to be prepared, but it’s invisible to us!
  16. Faith vs. curiosity?  (less of a paradox, perhaps)
  17. Spiritual warfare vs. the Peace of God
  18. God’s “love for all” vs. the billions apparently destined for Hell.  (created for this very purpose according to Proverbs?!)
  19. Complete surrender (to Christ) to have victory.  (must fail to succeed?)
  20. God’s testing vs. Satan’s tempting (God does not tempt)
  21. God is truth vs. use of lies [espec in old testament]
  22. God’s sovereignty vs. our ability to sin
  23. Prayer vs. God’s sovereignty.  Is prayer like fuel?  Does it change God?
  24. Sovereignty vs. fatalism (why try?)
  25. Omni-present and invisible
  26. God’s wisdom vs. man’s foolishness
  27. Trinity – a single spirit vs. Christ praying to the Father.
  28. Power is revealed through vulnerability and risk
  29. Greatness is shown in humility
  30. Wealth is revealed through giving away
  31. Love is revealed through Sacrifice
  32. Victory comes through surrender
  33. God as father, yet few (none?) examples of good fathers in the Bible
  34. David, man after God’s heart, and Solomon, wisest who ever lived.  Both miserable failures at family, both enticed by sex
  35. Selfish Wants lead to dissatisfaction, even death!
  36. Want of heaven is usually weaker than want to immediate gratification

What would you add?

Beginnings: Begin with God

Begin with God

If God is first, nothing else matters. If God is NOT first, nothing else matters.”

“He intended us to be creatures related to Himself in a certain way. […] if you are right with Him you will inevitably be right with all your fellow-creatures …”

— C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, from September 22, Page 290, of A Year with C. S. Lewis

It’s really simple. God isn’t somewhere in your priorities, He’s not first on your priority list, He has to be the ONLY THING on your list. Everything else is in relationship to Him. His Purpose and His power, operating through you, for the benefit of others. When that happens, stress goes away. Amazingly, sometimes it’s also when great accomplishments take place.

That is so simple and obvious. Yet I have to remind myself every day.

Last Updated: 10/13/2014

If you find these Beginnings posts of interest, you can find a full list here.