Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sometimes the answer is no

I have heard that you may pray to G-d looking for an answer. And then he does answer, and the answer is 'no'.
This is not brought on by anything particular going on in my life, it is just a thought that has been jingling around in my head for a while. And not even as a theological thought, but a philosophical one.
What if you encountered an alien race, people from the future who knew what the answers to the secrets you wanted to know, who had the answers, and when they told you, you were disappointed. What if the cure for cancer would require you to nearly wipe a species out? What if ending poverty for 5 generations meant the death of a few billion people for a 'great leap forward'? What if ending weird climate changes in the weather had an unthinkable cost, a trade off that would ask far too much of mortal man? And what if the answer was strictly no, there is no cure, it won't end, that's the way it is and has to be?
What if the answers to some questions were staring us right in the face and because it was too negative, we don't see it? The answer to me getting thin is exercising and possibly banning all sugars (processed and natural) from my diet. That's not going to happen. I like sugar.
So back to theology, when praying and the answer is no, then what? I have heard it may mean no, not right now, later or no, not this but that.


Arimathean said...

Remember that Jesus commended the woman who kept pestering the judge until he agreed to hear her case.

OTOH, he also said, "I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me."

So keep praying, but try to conform your will to God's, not vice versa.

Mari said...

The hard part is trying to figure out G-d's will.