It takes only a casual read to recognize that the God of the Bible defies explanation—and often, expectation. Throughout this month's issue, we've explored God's justice and his mercy; the inexplicable reality of Christ's resurrection, and the essential faith it takes to respond to holy nudges we might not understand.
My own relationship with God's mystery is complicated. On one hand, I'm frustrated that I lack faith to believe that God holds all things together, even when it seems they are falling apart. On the other, I yearn for the unexpected, for wonder, even for surprises. And God likes the wonder in us. He calls us to become like "little children," and little children live in the mystery of the unknowing most of the time!
So how can we embrace wonder in the midst of the frustration of our finite understanding? Here are four challenges to take this practice from your head to your heart.
Challenge #1: Cultivate an awareness of God's mystery
Frederica Mathewes-Green says "awareness of God's mystery should silence us." She goes on to explain that silence helps us cultivate an awareness of God's presence, and that it requires practice. Consider taking a week of focused quiet time. Be silent daily before God for 5, 10, or 30 minutes. Take nothing with you and practice experiencing his presence alone.
At first, you may find it difficult to truly quiet yourself. But keep at it! Ask a friend to take the same challenge (to keep you both accountable) and then share your reflections together after the week has passed.1