Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Not knowing what to do!

"If we pray will God change his mind about the cyclone?" someone asked me today
My response was trite "What makes us think that the cyclone is caused by God?" At least some are asking these days whether these extreme weather events are at least partially 'caused' by human issues to do with global warming, excess consumption, carelessness and greed....the list goes on.
It is well documented that the flooding on the Indian continent, for example, in the last decades is at least partially aggravated by the destruction of natural resources, such as Himalayan forests, which have previously been part of the way that these catastrophes have been mollified. Our finite minds means that we have some difficulty grasping all this in its complexity.

"Will God change his(sic) mind if we pray?" also reminds us that our language about God is at best an approximation of what is happening in reality. One only has to begin to tease out the idea of what it means for an infinite, all powerful, all knowing, all compassionate being to change to see that our approximate language is inevitably also full of contradiction.

I am not too worried about what all this means. While I might like to understand it better I recognise that I won't, so my response is to do what I can. At the very least I can pray as hard as I can, in belief that God recognises my inadequacies but is not dependent on my getting it all right. Is this a cop out?...probably! But it is better(in my opinion) to try and be a little bit faithful than to do nothing at all.

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