Simple Child-Like Faith

This God business is really complicated. Or is it? I know that I tend to overly-complicate things at times with cerebration. Sometimes I wish I could merely accept the tribal version of the gods that came my way and then immerse myself in the customs and amusements of the culture.  (Goethe described people who do this as having,   “scanty wit, yet wholly at their ease, Like kittens given their own tail to tease.”)

And it is so easy to catch oneself trusting merely in his/her own “cerebrations” re God, captivated by our own cleverness, forgetting that according to Jesus it is only a child-like faith that brings us into the Kingdom of God. The cerebrations, perhaps even some “cleverness”, the intellectual pursuits, the “hunger and thirsting” after righteousness, all has its place. But ultimately spiritual matters are an issue of a simple, child-like faith. Belief in our belief will not suffice.

Here is a relevant poem by a 17th century English nobleman, Fulke Greville:

Chorus Sacerdotum

O wearisome condition of humanity!

Born under one law, to another bound;

Vainly begot and yet forbidden vanity;

Created sick, commanded to be sound.

What meaneth nature by these diverse laws?

Passion and reason, self-division cause.

Is it the mark or majesty of power

To make offenses that it may forgive?

Nature herself doth her own self deflower

To hate those errors she herself doth give.

For how should man think that he may not do,

If nature did not fail and punish, too?

Tyrant to others, to herself unjust,

Only commands things difficult and hard,

Forbids us all things which it knows is lust,

Makes easy pains, unpossible reward.

If nature did not take delight in blood,

She would have made more easy ways to good.

We that are bound by vows and by promotion,

With pomp of holy sacrifice and rites,

To teach belief in good and still devotion,

To preach of heaven’s wonders and delights;

Yet when each of us in his own heart looks

He finds the God there, far unlike his books.

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