God’s Way vs. Our Way

We often forget God’s admonition in the Book of Isaiah that “my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are you ways my ways.” We expect God to think and act in accordance with our mindset.

I’m reading Mark Shea’s three-voume, Mary, Mother of the Son. In the first volume, which I just finished, Shea, who was raised in the Evangelical tradition and then converted to Catholicism, suggests that his Evangelical background led him “to think in rigidly economic terms about the glory of God.” Thus, Evangelicals ask why Mary or the saints are “necessary” or what is the “use” of asking the saints for their prayers and worry about whether devotion to Mary and the other saints upsets the “economy of salvation.”

Discussing how he got past this way of thinking, Shea refrences a book by Robert Farrar Capon called The Supper of the Lamb. Shea writes:

Capon explained that to approach anything in creation with the question “Why is this necessary?” or “What’s the use of this?” is to be fundamentally tone deaf to God. Asking whether flowers, galaxies, beautiful weather, or the Virgin Mary are “necessary” or “useful” makes no sense, says Capon, because none of creation is necesary or useful to its Creator. The whole universe exists because God just thought is was a good idea and gratuitously loved it into being. “God,” says Capon, “has love, not reasons.”

God does not create out of necessity, but out of love. Shea says this led him to a number of startling realizations, including the “subversive possibility that God is not a human resources manager fretting about economic theory, parsimonious allocation of limited glory resources and the need to eliminate an oversized workforce of saints who are making his job unnecessary.” Shea goes on in the book to talk about God choosing Mary “as he chose us: not becuase he needed her, but because he loved her freely.”

How often are we “tone deaf” to God, whose way is so much more beautiful than ours can often be?