The Absolute
Setting our sails

In times of great change there is felt a great need for something by which to chart our course through the perilous waters.  We need a pole star whose position is fixed and visible to all.  We look especially for moral absolutes.  Relativism is not welcome.  Only an objectively real beacon will serve.  We want God to come down out of the clouds and speak to us in an unequivocal, unmistakable fashion.

There are two problems with this desire.  It has never been fulfilled, nor would we ever want it to be.  It would be both impersonal and unloving on the part of God.  Many people believe that the closest thing we have had to an absolute moral guide was the Christ event.  The least obscure aspect of that event was the declaration that God is love.  Although love is unconditional it is not an absolute.  Love is necessarily personal and mutually relational.  It is decidedly subjective and intangible.  It is antithetical to any form of idolatry.

When God appears, even in a time of great need, we should not expect to be overwhelmed.  At most we should feel only a fresh and gentle breeze, as if a new door had been opened to love.  That is the greatest gift.  That gentle breeze will be our surest guide through even the most tempestuous seas.  Before that gentle breeze our greatest enemies will tremble like leaves in a gale.

Build your house not upon the rock; instead, set your sail to the zephyr.

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rev. 1/27/99