15 September 2015

Tests, and Paths

David Weber, one of the most readable science fiction writers I have discovered in a long, long time, posits a planet, "Greyson" where the dominant religion believes in something he calls, "the test of life." The idea being that all of our lives are in some way faced wth divinely sent tests of our ability to use our gifts, and express our faith.

There are some interesting issues there if we treat the proposition seriously. And I think that worth doing.

From the viewpoint of a traditional Christian, the first problem is that we do not earn our way. Life itself, and redemption of both our world and ourselves is a free gift from God.

But then we have to ask what we are doing here? God could simply announce the free gift and take us all wherever that takes us. He does not seem to do that: so be it for our benefit, creation's redemption, our refining, here we are. Facing trials and tribulations as the hymnists have it. In short facing for ourselves, not for God, a test.

While I am not an expert, but to the extent I know at least, several of other major religions could accommodate the idea of a test too. The idea is not all that odd, albeit Christians are not perhaps, used to the terminology.

If indeed we are facing a test, not because God needs to know us, but perhaps because we need to know ourselves, not because God needs us refined, but because God gives us the opportunity to become refined, improved, or perhaps, the best we can achieve; we should perhaps take stock. On a clear, calm, cool September night, I face this question: am I, answering my test? Are you?

I cannot speak for myself, so I certainly won't try to speak for my (few) readers. I hope I am facing my test confident in God's eventual aproval, or at least something like, "good try." One thing about being nearly 70, is I know that conversation is not all that far ahead.

g I do think the question worth facing. I hope you are confident you are facing your trials and tribulations as well as God wants.

Note: I have never met Mr. Weber, and I am mentioning his fictitious religion merely as a way to set the frame. It is entirely possible that I have miss-stated the concepts in his fiction, and if I have I apologize to both him and you. I do highly recommend his books. Here is a link to his site Again, I am a mere fan, not an expert!

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