Foot in the Fire

stars2FOOT IN THE FIRE

It shocks you, this moment,
when the priority of truth
flies over the chair and out the door,
trumped by purpose and wonder.

But the sky above is proof you get it all:
truth, reason, and the blazing sentinel stars.

 

uncertainty

I spent last weekend with my incredible friend Cindy, whom I know from Northwestern.  Cindy went to law school at Georgetown and now lives and works in Washington, DC, and she was kind enough to take the Amtrak to Boston to spend the weekend with me.  So, so good.

We did lots of fun stuff, but to be honest, some of the best parts of the weekend were just all the wonderful conversations.  You have to understand that Cindy is 100% brilliant, and you can talk to her about absolutely anything, and she has all this valuable insight.  One night, we ate a late dinner at the Cactus Club (where, btw, I had the most incredible chicken and avocado quesadillas), and we got to talking about Rene Descartes (since I had begun his book Meditations on the flight out to Boston and because he is playing quite a significant role in my YA book) and about his dream argument and the way he was establishing universal doubt.  It led to a great conversation on uncertainty and how healthy it actually is (in fact, it was the key to my therapy!).

Cindy and I talked about how certain statements and discussions used to jar us in regard to faith, but how as we got older, we both reached a point where we decided, “Look, I am committed to this Christianity thing.  I think it is true, even though I can’t really know that.  But I’m not going to be swayed by every new scientist and fact and detail and argument that arises.  I’ve made a choice and I’m sticking with Christ regardless.”

I’d like to hear what you think about this.  My assumption is that different ages will have different reactions.

Not to go all Narnia-nerd on you (but let’s be honest, I can’t always help it), but I told Cindy it reminded me a lot of Puddleglum the Marshwiggle in The Silver Chair.  Are you familiar?  Let me set the scene for you.

Puddleglum and friends are in the Underworld, and the evil Queen of Underworld is strumming her magical guitar and has tossed some sweet-smelling something-or-another into the fire, and the marshwiggle and his friends are falling under her spell as she tries to convince them that there is no Overworld.

“But we’ve seen the sun!” they argue.  The queen asks what a sun is, and they describe it as very large, very bright lamp.

“You’ve seen my lamp,” she contradicts, “and so you imagine a bigger and better one and call it a sun.”  The same argument is repeated when they bring up Aslan.  “You’ve seen a cat,” she said, “and you imagine a bigger and better one and call it a lion.”

But Puddleglum puts his foot into the fire, shocking him into clarity, and he essentially says, “It’s sad that if you’re right, we’ve still managed to make a play, fake world that licks your real world hollow.”  Then he goes on to say, “I’m going to live like a Narnian, even if there isn’t any Narnia.  I’m going to serve Aslan, even if there isn’t any Aslan.”

Cindy and I feel the same way about Christianity.  Now, don’t get me wrong: I believe Christianity is real, and I believe Christ is real and is alive today and is working in my life.  But I will allow for doubt.  Uncertainty in certain dosages can be very healthy, and I have made a choice to serve Jesus Christ, no matter what.

Thoughts?