Friday, July 23, 2010

The Absence Of - Ayotte

I know…you’re never supposed to end a sentence with a preposition, but perhaps I can make an exception in this case because I have merely ended a title with one. I find that when I write, I take a few creative liberties and bend some of the grammatical rules as I see fit. Some fellow authors may very well choose to do the same. I hope so, because as liberal minded as I may think I am, it’s always good to feel that I am not totally alone with any particular point of view.

Today, I am about to express one of those views. I read a neat e-mail the other day sent to me by a long time Christian friend. This article really got me thinking about some of my own “isms”. The theme of the article had to do with opinions on science versus the existence of God. I’m not going to go on and on about what I read. I want to zero in on what captured my attention the most.

First of all, it was the concept of the description of death as the “absence of life”. The article mentioned that you cannot scientifically measure death so therefore, death should be referred to as the “absence of life”. As I continued to read, it was obvious to me that this article was becoming more philosophical than scientific because God was described as the Light, while evil was described as the “absence of Light”. In other words, those of us without God in our lives would be living in darkness. I’m pretty sure we have all heard this phrase before to describe different aspects of Christian faith or lack of it.

This concept made me look at my faith from another angle. It reminded me of the story about Jesus fishing in the stormy waters with His disciples. When they kept their eyes on Him and had faith, the apostles knew no fear. The exact opposite happened when they lost their focus. Perhaps, the same theory holds true for us. The “absence of faith” results in fear. When we are afraid, when we feel fear…is it because we really have something to fear or is it because we have taken our eyes off of Jesus? Do we give the concept of fear “life” and let it have power over us and what we choose to do or not do?

It is very difficult to overcome fear. I try my best to remember what Jesus taught us about perfect love casting out fear. Jesus offers this perfect, unconditional love. I do not want to be afraid. I want to know, love and serve the Lord with a deep abiding faith with the “absence of fear”. When I feel fear, it seems like I have taken my eyes off of Jesus and I experience the “absence of faith”. I much prefer it the other way around. I also need to remind myself that the word “fear” can mean “to be in awe” or “to have reverence and respect” in some instances. My relationship with God is one of those instances. I have every desire to be in “awe” of the God who created me out of love rather than to be afraid of making mistakes and fearing retribution for my human weaknesses. I do not want to have the impression that I am constantly being judged by my Creator who is ready to punish me if I take a wrong turn. For in reality, He wants to show me nothing but His infinite love and mercy, not only for me, but for all His creatures.

Author of “I’m Not Perfect And It’s Okay”
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Peter Black said...

Your title suggested to me that you were introducing a real "swan song," since we will be missing your delightful contributions to the blog in the future. But no, you've provided a well thought-out and thought-provoking piece!
I like your application from 1 John 4 in your final paragraph. Thank you.
Thankfully, "The Absence Of" you from this space need not mean the absence of our friendship and fellowship together in the family of God.

Dolores Ayotte said...

Thank you, once again, for your own thought-provoking words.

I am very grateful for the friendship we have formed across the miles and I, too, look forward to our continued fellowship as our new found relationship continues to unfold.

Blessings to you and May as you enjoy the "twilight" of your retirement years together. I hope it is just the beginning of many more wonderful years to come! :)

Peter Black said...

Thank you for your kind wishes for us.
May these blessings be multiplied also to you and Fred.
As the Lord spares us, we'll be in touch, I'm sure. :)

sarah said...

Dolores...your words...always inspire...

Dolores Ayotte said...

Peter...once again thank you and thanks to you too Sarah. Blessings to you both! :)

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