Wednesday, 28 May 2014

You can't second guess a singularity....

When we can't get what we want or need in a particular place or from a particular person, or it doesn't seem humanly possible that what we need can be provided, how tempting and perhaps even natural it is to just move on elsewhere and keep looking. We move onto the next place or person where there is a glimmer of hope, or who offers the merest possibility of meeting or need. 

If you were suffering from a rare disease and your doctor, though trying his best, simply didn't have the skill or experience to deal with it and you hear from a friend that her doctor successfully dealt with this condition you would be unwise not to move on. 

This is entirely natural and not wrong, it may often be the best thing to do - but not always. What is 'often right' in many circumstances is not always right in others.

In astrophysics the centre of a black hole is a place where all known laws and all those things that may be surmised by common sense break down - they don't necessarily hold true, anything could happen! They call this a 'singularity'. (It's not the point of this blog to push this analogy too far nor is it a physics test :-D )

In spiritual terms Jesus is undoubtedly a 'singularity' in every sense. He is certainly unique and there is no way we can approach Him and assume that 'the normal rules apply' or that or 'common sense' will be an adequate guide. With Jesus we are in a place where the 'natural' does not hold sway but where anything could happen. Does that fill you with trepidation or excitement? Horror or hope? Fear or faith?

In Matthew 14 we read a story of an awful lot of people who, having heard Jesus speak and been fed spiritually, then needed to be fed physically.... They needed food.

The natural, common sense course of action was to do exactly what the disciples suggested, 'send the people away so they can go buy themselves food'. You can hardly criticise then for that perfectly sensible suggestion, and Jesus didn't criticise them ....but He did give them an option that flew in the face of the natural way of things, of common sense and good suggestions!

You can't second guess a singularity........ 

Jesus said, ‘They do not need to go away. .... 

OK, if they don't need to go away what should they do? (Thought the disciples)

Not them - you!.........You give them something to eat.’ (Matthew 14:16)

And He taught them a lesson about the possibilities that exist when you are close to a singularity.... All the known laws fell apart, common sense was left in the cold and 4000 people saved their money on supper!

They didn't need to go away!

What about us? There are two challenges (at least ) here. 

When we have needs that appear not to be being met when or as we want them to be, do we too easily turn elsewhere to seek what we need? This 'elsewhere' may be another person, a habit, a substance, a superstition.......

When we are faced with others who are in a situation where the 'known order', or common sense, just doesn't cut it, do we advise them to 'go look in the village' effectively 'to sort themselves out' or do we move closer into the orbit of THE singularity where anything can happen?