Ponderings by Doug

In his book Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton says chess players go crazy, not poets. I’m going to use that for my pat answer for everything I can’t logically explain, either about life in general or the Christian faith specifically. I have grown weary of trying to figure things out. You know when I graduated from seminary, I had all the answers. Now I’m not even sure what the questions are. All I have is what I will take with me into the next life, Jesus.

I want you to think about the Christian faith as a mystery. This faith mystery can’t be fully explained and yet can be completely experienced.

To illustrate this conundrum, I wish for us to consider the penguin. After some penguin ritualistic disco dance the female will pick a mate. Since this is a family publication, I can only say that they get with each other! Then the females lay the eggs, which they do standing up. They lay the eggs on their feet. After the egg is laid the males go over and the females give their mates the egg. When the males take the egg, the females leave. They travel for days back to the ocean and jump in and go fishing.

The male takes care of the eggs. They sit on them. They have this little pocket between their legs where the egg goes. The males then gather around in an enormous circle to keep each other warm. The penguins on the inside of the circle very slowly move to the outside, and then back to the inside. They do this to take turns on the outside of the circle because it is cold. They do this for an entire month.

The males sit out there on the eggs for a month. They don’t even eat. They just watch the eggs. Then the females come back, and right when they do, almost to the day, the eggs are hatched. The females somehow know, even though they have never had babies before, the exact day to go back to the males. That is how baby penguins are made.

The penguins have this internal radar inside of them that told them when and where to go and none of it made any sense but the moms show up the very day their babies are born. The radar always turns out to be right. It is not logical. It is a mystery.

If penguins have radar that helps them arrive when the babies are born, could it be that we are born with similar instincts?

I have this radar inside of me that makes me want to believe in Jesus. Maybe it is not crazy to follow that radar. At this point, I refer you back to the G. K. Chesterton quote.

You could go crazy trying to explain penguins. It is best to just watch them and be amazed by them. You can also be entertained if you wish! I don’t think you can explain how Christian faith works either. It is a mystery. This is what I love about Christian spirituality. It cannot be explained, and yet it is beautiful and true.

It is something you feel, and it comes from the soul.


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