Monday, April 25, 2005

A Good Dream

The other night I had a really good dream. I was walking around the grounds of a school, and I was about a ten minute walk from the buildings, when a storm came up. It was raining really hard and the wind was blowing, and, as often happens in dreams, I couldn't run. A fog came up as I was trying to cut through a patch of trees, and I couldn't see anything. I started to panic, but then this guy who I didn't know came up behind me, and said my name. He said, "Let me help you," and grabbing my hand, walked ahead of me, holding branches out of the way for me.

Its been a long time since I had a simple dream like that and I woke up happy but disappointed to have woken up. I think that's a pretty typical kind of a dream for a girl raised on fairy tales to have, thought. I, of course, spent some time analyzing this dream, and I think it has significance on a couple of levels.

On the allegorical level, Jess and I were talking about how even when we think we're lost and alone, God knows us and can lead us. A lot of times I won't let God (or anyone) help me until i've gotten myself completely lost. As soon as the person in my dream took my hand, the fog started to lift and I could see a little better.

Similarly, we were talking about how the women's movement has taught us that we aren't enlightened and empowered women if we are willing to submit to the guidance of a man. We are raised on fairy tales and girl power, and the different value systems are always competing. I personally want to marry someone who I can trust to guide and protect me, but I have this idea that I'm not a strong woman unless I'm doing everything for myself.

Even if I never practice submission with a husband, I still need to get better at submitting to God's help and guidance. As my dream reminded me, its kind of nice to just be taken care of once in awhile.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The assurance of things hoped for.

Just now I was playing Snood at work instead of doing my reading, and I somehow started thinking about the Bible as an infallible text. Yes, I know I'm weird. Its interesting though, because when I was taking my Biblical History and Culture class, a lot of people were unable to even accept the idea that the Bible could be historically inaccurate and still true. While I was in my Snood-trance, I had the epiphany that we don't have faith in God because of the Bible, we have faith in the Bible because of God.

Actually, if the Bible could be proved 100% accurate, it still wouldn't lead to faith. "But faith is the substance of things that be to be hoped, and an argument of things not appearing." (Hebrews 11:1, Wycliffe Trans.) Another translation of Hebrews 11:1 says "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for." Faith itself is the proof, not the product of proof. Really, anyone could put a spin on real historical events to convince people of this or that belief- its called propaganda. I believe the Bible because I trust God. The important thing isn't whether or not Noah lived 950 years, what is important is that Noah listened to God.

Some people try to prove the existence of God by searching for proof of the Bible's factual accuracy. That's not an exercise in faith, that's an exercise in the scientific method. I remember in high school two girls asked their friend, "Aren't you afraid you'll go to Hell if you don't believe in God?" Of course the friend didn't believe in Hell either so the argument was pointless.
I do think that reading the Bible can produce faith, but not because it proves anything concrete, but because it feels true to the reader. Faith is born when people read that God loves then and feel that God really does love them.

Personally, I think that when God wants to sit at home and watch something funny on tv, God watches the History Channel. "You silly people, that's not Solomon's Temple, that's a stable. Hahaha..."