Gleanings: Wonder

Madame Jean Guyon (1648-1717) helped me years ago to discover the sense of wonder which must attend any spiritual formation.  She wrote, “If knowing answers to life’s questions is absolutely necessary to you, then forget the journey.  You will never make it, for this is a  journey of unknowables—of unanswered questions, enigmas, incomprehensibles, and most of all, things unfair.”

The saints of the ages teach us that most of the spiritual life is lived in the context of mystery.  Our lives are not fully consistent, and the experiences we have do not always make sense.  Madame Guyon is simply saying (along with many others in the “great cloud of witnesses”) that we must not define our spiritual journey according to who we are, but rather on who God is.  “God alone” is good. “God alone” is love.  “God alone” is the place where all the fragments are gathered.  Abandonment to God is not resigning ourselves to a life of uncertainty; it is surrendering ourselves to a life of trust.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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