Another new year that’s promising to be as crazy as they get. After the past three years, that’s saying something, but a contentious election on top of escalating world events make it a contender. Anticipating this, we wonder why things can’t just settle. We look for resolution to contentions and contradictions, but when does life ever resolve?
There’s something deep in us that knows that life only and ever resolves in death. That like ignoring a spoiler alert that makes a movie uninteresting and unwatchable, to know the end, the resolution of life would make it pointless and unlivable. The mystery, the crazy contradictions, the missing pieces keep us guessing, interested and alive…and afraid. There’s the rub. Our fear keeps us obsessing and grasping for the very certainty that would drain the life out of our lives if we could ever actually achieve it.
So what’s a human to do? Forever caught between the horns of a paradox—between intolerance of uncertainty and a world specifically designed to make certainty impossible. We’ve known this at the quantum level for nearly a century, but what we know rationally and need emotionally are another paradox we can’t resolve. A forty-year-old song captures it: Crazy world, full of crazy contradictions like a child. Just when I believe your heart’s getting warmer, you’re cold and you’re cruel, and I like a fool try to cope, try to hang on to hope. Oh, how I love this crazy world.
Jesus said he came to teach us to live abundantly. How do we do that in a crazy world, a crazy new year full of contradictions? The world is built on the uncertainty of its smallest particles. To believe that the world is not as it should be is to live in scarcity. Waiting for the world to meet our expectations before life feels safe enough to live is a train that never comes. If we can’t accept the world as it is, the work we do for change will carry the obsession of scarcity.
Abundant life begins the moment we realize that we love this crazy world and its unresolvable contradictions. That it is as it must be, and even as we work for change, we wouldn’t have it any other way.