And the Lord said: "Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden."
Ah, you who hide deep from the LORD your counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, "Who sees us? Who knows us?" You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, "He did not make me"; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"?
Isaiah 29:13-16Before I came to know and love my King; indeed, less than two decades ago, I was one of those who turned things upside down. It is frankly hilarious to me when I look back now on what I was so imperiously certain of then. Apparently I believed that the simple fact of my extending or withholding belief could somehow alter reality!
To put it plainly, I sort of believed in God or at least in a god. However, I had some twisted-up conception that in this belief, I was enabled to select the characteristics and traits that I thought would go best with a god, as if the whole god concept was akin to an enormous spiritual buffet laid out for my exclusive pleasure and benefit. Otherwise, I steadfastly declared, if there was a God who was able to destroy what He did not approve of, than I just couldn't believe in Him. Somehow, in some uproariously childish way, I thought that this sullen skepticism of mine negated the very existence of a God, as if God needed my permission to exist. Talk of turning things upside down!
In the current stage of my life, I find it chafing, not to mention astonishingly arrogant, when my children hint that they might have a better parenting strategy than I, particularly when that strategy somehow involves them getting ice cream right after breakfast or some such absurdity. And absurdity is right, for that is precisely what I once projected in that flickering and farcical fantasy world where I evidently thought that my belief held a mystical power to create or destroy God. Upside down, without a doubt.
I think G. K. Chesterton said it best when he stated that "It is idle to talks always of the alternative of reason and faith. Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." I am absolutely certain that my thoughts at the time had not even a casual acquaintance with reality.
In questioning the goodness or correctness of my Creator, I was merely believing that my own thoughts had some realness or substance of their own. The views I held as a skeptic were honestly rather contradictory and ridiculous if you look at them. If I am a creation, that is to say, if there is a God, then it is an extraordinarily silly thing to believe that I could possibly be wiser and know a better way to operate the world than my Creator does. If I am not, well, than I am not and it was rather birdbrained to go off thinking that there may be some piece-meal god that I can dress up or dress down as I see fit. What is the use of an a la carte god at all, really? If there is not a powerful, all-knowing, almighty Creator, than why mess around in the business of gods and what-not at all? One may as well believe in Zeus, Apollo, and all that fallible, fornicating lot.
It boils down to one simple question: There either is or there is not a Creator. If there is not, what I do or think doesn't really matter anyway for it is all fruitless and futile speculation. If there is, well than what I think about Him still doesn't matter, for my opinion does not change the fact of the Creator, nor does it change any element of His nature or being. In the latter case, I am the creation. As a thing created, my limited view of what is right and wrong or how the world ought to be run is laughable on one hand, an act of mutinous rebellion deserving of thorough and utterly quelling wrath on the other.
All in all, in those days, I was merely airing my ignorance in my beliefs that my ideas of what was good and right were the correct ones. In reality, it was much closer to whining because I could not have ice cream after breakfast than I would like to admit.
The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; but you, O LORD, are on high forever. Psalms 92:6-8
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. Proverbs 18:2