Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fabulously meaningless

I've been thinking about unanswered prayer recently. I've been wondering what our current unanswered prayer will look like to us from the other side of the resurrection.

Most common christian piety answers that we will see that everything had a reason, or was necessary in some way for God's plan. I find this utterly unsatisfying, so I am going on a journey of complete speculation.

The teacher in Ecclesiastes says that everything is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Often as Christians we see this as a position of despair, and want to temper it by saying we know what finally has meaning.

In The Hunting of the Snark, Lewis Caroll says it a little differently, "The snark was a boojum after all". The object of the ridiculous absurdist chase turned out to be the thing that brings existential nothingness. The crazy prattle and ambition, identity and peculiar useless talents of each of the protagonists, existing simply to tell the silly tale of their desire for snark appears to come to nothing.
As does searching for some deep allegorical meaning in the story.
Yet does it come to nothing. Well, not quite. What is achieved is a funny absurd joke. None of it is necessary, and that is it's joy.

I wonder if this is how we will view the history of our lives and the universe from the viewpoint of the kingdom, as one joyous and unecessary joke. If the characters in Carolls poem had caught the snark it would be quite boring. It would affirm their silliness as worthwhile. I feel the same about unanswered prayer; perhaps we are chasing a snark, and from the position of the abundant goodness of God's kingdom, it is very funny that we dont find it.
To be freed from necessity, to be freed from some hefty, underlying meaning, the contingent, unecessary, even absurd universe we live in can be enjoyed for the joyful romp that it is.

hmm or not


byron smith said...

Ahaha - what a delightful suggestion! The joke's on us with our search for the impossible.

I'll have to think about this more.

Rene Pfitzner said...

Nice post, Mike! I'm going to have to read the poem now.

Mike W said...

you can get it for free on the net