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Every now and again, including last Sunday, the rector at RFEC will start talking about God’s “growth” almost as a person.  This past time, it was in connection with Noah’s Flood.  The rector suggested – stated, really –  in his sermon that the rainbow, although the symbol of God’s pledge to Noah that he would never flood the world again, was also a reminder to God himself of this commitment, a Celestial post-it-note as it were, something that he placed in the sky after coming to the realization that wiping out life on earth was not the answer to his frustrations. (I paraphrase very loosely here.)  I seem to recollect a similar theme in the rector’s treatment of God’s relations with the Israelites as he dragged them through the wilderness.

Now I’m not really qualified to speak, of course, but this anthropomorphizing of God has always raised red flags in my mind.  If, as I understand it, God exists outside of time and yet is also omniscient and omnipotent at all points in time simultaneously, then it’s ridiculous to think of Him having linear “learning experiences” and “changes of heart” in His dealings with Mankind.   I certainly believe that God has a plan for Creation and is fully cognizant of its entire span.  I also believe that God does not make mistakes.  On the other hand, I believe that Manking has been granted free will and therefore has a direct impact on the course of things as an agent of change.  How God reconciles all of this is beyond anyone’s comprehension, of course.

Now perhaps the rector simply means to put these matters in terms that can be grasped by the parishioners.  But it seems to me that making God nothing more than a flawed, celestial human being is not the way to do it.

UPDATE: Somewhat off the subject, but I didn’t think it a large enough matter to warrant a separate post.  I’ve been rereading a goodish bit of C.S. Lewis and I just have to remark on two images of his that I dearly love.  The first, from Mere Christianity, is the WWII metaphor of  Jesus landing in enemy (i.e., Satan)-occupied territory in order to recruit partisans ahead of the main invasion that God will inevitably launch.   The other, from The Last Battle, is his concept of Heaven being “farther in and further up” which nicely sets on its ear the restraints of our “physical” universe and is germane to the discussion here about God being outside such restraints.

(BTW, I recently ordered his Out of the Silent Planet and That Hideous Strength, Books 1 & 3 of his space trilogy. I’ve read the second one, but not these two.)


I begin to understand why managers of ball clubs all look so careworn.

Bright and zippy on the Monday immediately following our softball draft, I sent an email circular around to all of the parents of the gels I’d selected for my team.  The email consisted of a warm welcome, a few advanced administrative items and a practice schedule.

Being the optimistic fool that I am, I expected an immediate and enthusiastic response.  AAA isn’t just kiddie-ball, after all, but is supposed to be of a somewhat higher order.  And I figured that anyone who had gone to the trouble of getting this far in the program would recognize that and prioritize accordingly.


So far, of the thirteen families I’ve only heard back from five.  And of those, three of the responses contained detailed information about why little Madison or Dakota is conflicted out on one or the other of the scheduled practice days because of some other activity commitment.


I suppose that for the sake of conscience, I’ll have to call around to everyone else this evening to see if they got my message and intend to show up for our first practice on Sunday.

As for the conflicts? Well, I’m checking with the league now, but my inclination is to offer the parents a choice of either coming once a week and accepting that their child isn’t going to get as much skill development as otherwise, or else taking it upon themselves to arrange a trade to another team with a more congenial schedule.  I’m pretty damned busy myself and even as it is, I am jumping through some pretty major hoops to be available.  Also, I’m sure that if I changed the times, it would just cause somebody else to complain.

The underlying problem, of course, is that all these kids are waaaaay over-committed.

UPDATE: Heh.  I just received a comforting response from the Front Office.  It begins:

Welcome to the world of softball conflicts.  It only gets worse over time as kids starting having more demands for things like travel soccer, chorus, etc.  As long as they can attend one of your two practices per week, I wouldn’t worry about it too much.  I am sure that you will also run into game schedule conflicts—which is one reason why having 13 per team isn’t always so bad.


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March 2009