A Six-Year-Old Flying a Jet Plane

Our souls are deeper and more complex than we typically realize, and the ability to understand and master our souls is beyond our direct agency. I believe this is related to the restrictions God placed upon Adam in the garden. According to one strand of the Christian tradition, though Adam was created mature in form, he was not fully developed in all that God had endowed him. In other words, Adam was born into a state of becoming wherein he could obtain higher levels of being, an obtaining that was meant to happen within his relationship to God. Consequently, if Adam rushed headlong into the knowledge of good and evil he would assume power over something he was not yet prepared to handle. He needed to mature in order to gain mastery of the various potentialities of his soul, a maturity that was designed by God to unfold through childlike trust in the power and goodness of God.

The reason our souls are beyond our direct agency is that God structured us to intimately function in him. It was God’s design to have his divine life operate in the depths of our being and in this context to become most fully human. Who we are is bound up in who God is, and given who God is, and the nature of our relationship to him, it should come as no surprise that understanding humanity, both collectively and individually, proves to be such a riddle. Since our being is intimately woven into God’s existence, there is no comprehensive understanding of humanity apart from God’s revelation of himself, a revelation embodied in the person of Jesus Christ, and made accessible by the operation of God’s Spirit.

In relation to all this, there is a critical tension that must be acknowledged in our pursuit of a greater self, or spiritual development. On the one hand we are hired-wired to develop, to seek higher levels of being, and on the other hand this pursuit tends to exacerbate the chief problem of the human condition: a pride that negates trusting in God. Often our pursuit to become more is both intentionally and unwittingly enacted on our own terms. Such a pursuit becomes a recapitulation of the original fall, which was driven by a desire to be like God, without having to trust God, a trust that manifests itself by a willingness to submit to God’s restrictions even when they don’t make sense. As I see it, rushing ahead of the God ordained process is like placing a six- year-old into a jet plane, firing up the engine and saying, “have at it.” Yes, that six-year-old may well have the capacity to become an outstanding pilot, but in his current state he (or she) neither has the mental nor physical development to undertand or properly operate the machine whose power he wields. To prematurely give this child access to such power will inevitably lead to destruction.

3 Responses to “A Six-Year-Old Flying a Jet Plane”

  1. K.L.B.  

    Oh… I don’t know about that, now.

    I mean, I like analogies and all but “…a six- year-old into a jet plane, firing up the engine and saying, “have at it.”?”

    On a personal level, I believe some of the books on spirituality I’ve read have benefitted me. I’m not a a “book of the month” type reader, which is to say, I don’t read whatever is “hot off the presses.” If the NYT bestseller list relied upon me, there would be none.

    So much of today’s writing – including “Christian” writing – it seems to me, is mere passing. It’s like a fart – stinky gas. And like a fart, sometimes you hear it, sometimes you don’t – but it almost always stinks, and emanates from the body’s attempt to digest (convert into energy use) frequently indigestible materials – such as cellulose, found in vegetables. But I digress.

    My opinion on that issue aside, I don’t necessarily agree with your assertion that “God put restrictions upon Adam in the garden, because if he rushed headlong…” etc. (I emphasize the secondary clause “because if he had…” portion.)

    I think that’s putting the cart before the horse.

    What we DO know is that in the beginning, Man was smart. He did, after all, give names to ALL the animals. Can you do that now? Can anyone do that now?

    In the Fall, something happened. Life and liberty was surrendered to death and slavery.

    Who was at fault and why is a topic for another discussion.

    However, suffice it to say, something terrible happened upon that day – something which had the semblance of permanence. It was a situation of Man’s own making, one out of which he could not rescue himself.

    That much we (you and I) agree upon.

    Before the Fall, Man was perfect – or was he? I suppose Man very well could have understood the complexities of his soul, and quite likely did. It was AFTERWARDS when loss occurred.

    That being the case – Man understanding the complexities of his soul – however, why did he follow Eve’s footsteps and consume Forbidden Fruit?

    This is point where conjecture arises.

    I’ve heard it said that it was his love for her. That, at that moment in which she ate the Forbidden Fruit, he saw her die spiritually. His desire for her, enveloped him more so than his acknowledgment of his Divine nature, and he therefore willingly surrendered Divinity for woman.

    Wow! How strong is THAT!?! (I could be more blunted in my commentary, but I shall refrain. I think your astute and erudite readers will discern.)

    (The issue of Adam’s divinity may be under some scrutiny, however suffice it to say that Adam was created without sin. Whether he was perfect or not, may be a matter for more thorough debate.)

    I believe it was the Genesis narrator – Moses – whom did, however, say that “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24 – NIV) It was provided as an explanation, a rationale or reasoning why something would happen. Moses being the narrator, was told by God. So, I would imagine it safe to presume that God said it would be this way.

    God therefore being Adam’s Father (and Mother), Adam left his Maker, in accordance with the stated rationale.

    Was it a command?

    No. It was Adam’s own statement that “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” (Genesis 2:23 – NIV) In a manner of speaking, by following after Eve, Adam was chasing himself, seeking (to maintain that) wholeness (or unity) in another.

    I think I’ve opened up a can o’worms here, Anthony!

    Naw… it’s YOUR fault! *LMAO*

    Again, sensing I have digressed…

    The Almighty God Jehovah Elohim knew all this in advance.

    And, as you wrote, “God structured us to have our being intimately function in him.” (I DO wish you’d capitalize the personal pronouns when referring to Deity. Not only is it proper grammar, and clarifying linguistically, it is respectful.)

    Mirroring the male/female relationship, to wit that like a sexual union, Christ enters into us (collectively we the Church are called the Bride of Christ, are we not?), I sense that perhaps it is that relationship in which “…a revelation embodied in the person of Jesus Christ and illumined by the present operation of God’s Spirit within the Church.”

    Not that we’re getting all ‘sex-god’ here, but there are typologies, those analogous reference points which, as your blog title implies, we see through a dark glass to allow us a glimpse of understanding. (Yes, I know the Paulian reference.)

    Concluding, I sense that it is our treatment of each other by and through which the Almighty manifests Himself to us, and to others. Thus, (as you write) “our being is intimately bound to Him” (I capitalized, for goodness’ sake!), then our understanding of Him is “embodied in the person of Jesus Christ and illumined by the present operation of God’s Spirit within the Church.”

    That being the case, any book promising “greater spiritual development… apart from God’s revelation of Himself” in and through the person of Jesus Christ is a mere puff of malodorous wind.

    I don’t think it’s possible to “rush ahead of the God-ordained process.” If He ordains it, He ordains IT, that particular one… not another.

    Possible or not (I don’t think so), destruction or not (I think not), where ever we find ourselves – in the Scriptures Christ does indicate a “coming to” oneself moment – having previously and always accepted us, our Father will come running to us, and again we will accept His love.

  2. K.L.B.  

    Besides… that’s giving a bit more credit than is real/actual/necessary to a six-year-old – don’t you agree? – to say/presume/assume/claim/assert etc., that one could fly a jet plane?

    Maybe putting a better analogy might be putting a 17-year-old in an F1 or LeMans automobile.

  3. K.L.B.  

    But… if you insist upon the jet plane analogy, then may I suggest you considering al-Qaeda operatives? *LOL* (Black Ops humor)

    That is definitely a MORE realistic scenario, as you well know.