The way of paradoxes is the way of truth, said Oscar Wilde.
It’s hard to let go of our preconceptions. It’s unsettling. But we have to experiment with letting go because life is all about paradox.
Sometimes we look at ourselves and think we are worthless. Yet somehow we are precious in God’s eyes.
We know we are from this planet, but we don’t really belong here.
Poet and storyteller Steven James describes us as “skin covered spirits with hungry souls”.
We are both Hitler and Gandhi, Genghis Khan and Martin Luther King, nurse and terrorist, lover and liar.
Humility is another paradox. The moment you think you’ve finally found it, you’ve lost it.
Anyway, humility seems risky.
It’s not always clear in this world who’s on our side and who isn’t.
We don’t know the plan.
In his book Sailing Between The Stars, James urges us to embrace the spiritual paradoxes instead of trying to stuff faith into little boxes.
“Release your grip,” James advises.
“It’s humbling and exhilarating to live in the middle of a riddle.”
He points to all the stress and ugliness in the world and says we must accept there’s a lot about God’s plan we will never understand.
God can seem illogical, unreasonable and yet somehow unmistakenly true.
The sooner we understand “the uncommon sense” of belief, the better.
“I used to think that defending my faith meant providing people with answers,” James says.
“I’m just starting to realise that it isn’t answers people typically want. Answers don’t usually satisfy us because it isn’t just our head that is hungry.
“That’s why when Jesus came, he didn’t bring answers. He brought mystery wrapped in love.”
He’s right. The foundation of Christian belief is a paradox.