The cost of being alive


God’s engagement in the world is an active, not a passive relationship.

There is surely no other kind of engagement? If it were passive, how could it be engagement? It would simply imply a thoroughly pointless presence. There is an ever present danger, however, that we sit back and ride with God. In doing so we can think of the divine presence in our lives as a material individual we sit beside and not the power that moves the moon and stars, the creator of all that is, seen and unseen, the light of not just the world, but of the whole universe.

The cost of living, the consequence of being alive, is that we need to respond to the presence of God in our lives, and we need to do this through a transformation which cannot be explained, only experienced.

The cosmos, the whole of created order, is dynamic. It is a flux of energy and we are part of that. We cannot step outside and we are carried along by it. As conscious entities we have the ability to understand a small part of this creation and we find it astonishing. Or we should: how can the nature of the world not be marvelled at?

A process

Even so, we are limited. We do not have infinite free will. We can choose many ways and can decide on many paths, but the underlying determinist nature of the cosmos implicitly constrains us so that we stumble across natural theology, where Christ is the reconciler, and theodicy, where we struggle to reconcile sin and injustice with a loving God.

Our response is dialectical: in the space between natural theology and theodicy is the cost of living. In that space we find ourselves struggling to understand, and, in understanding, better able to live as transformed creatures.

But these are words, just words. How do such words make a difference? Perhaps through their power to carry The Word.

We live, we die…

…And during that mysterious journey we encounter and draw nourishment from others. At the same time, we expend and renew. Living is not a neutral or passive experience. It is a dynamic and profound experience. How we choose to respond to life itself speaks deeply into our spiritual self.

Nothing is without value, and nothing is without cost. Our words are supremely ambiguous and fluid. We value life, but what does it cost? If we are to truly live, what do we need to do? How do we need to respond? This is the cost of living. It is paid for through the divine.