in the middle

I love this man’s writing. Here is a paragraph from the preface of the book I just began reading. It’s worth a good think.

People who live by faith have a particularly acute sense of living “in the middle.” We believe that God is at the beginning of all things, and we believe that God is at the conclusion of all life – in St. John’s striking epigram: “the Alpha and the Omega” (Rev. 1:8). It is routine among us to assume that the beginning was good (“and God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good”). It is agreed among us that the conclusion will be good (“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth”). That would seem to guarantee that everything between the good beginning and the good ending will also be good. But it doesn’t turn out that way. Or at least it doesn’t in the ways we expect. That always comes as a surprise. We expect uninterrupted goodness, and it is interrupted: I am rejected by a parent, coerced by a government, divorced by a spouse, discriminated against by a society, injured by another’s carelessness. All of this in a life which at its creation was very good and at its conclusion will be completed according to God’s design. Between the believed but unremembered beginning and the hoped for but unimaginable ending there are disappointments, contradictions, not-to-be-explained absurdities, bewildering paradoxes – each of them a reversal of expectation.

–Eugene Peterson, Reversed Thunder

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3 Responses

  1. This was just quoted in the sermon at our church yesterday and I Googled a few words from the quote to find the whole thing and found it here. Awesome words! I’m going to re-blog this myself. Peace! 🙂

    • That’s very cool. Glad you found my blog. 🙂 And yes, these are awesome words — I’m glad you commented because it caused me to reread the quote myself, and I needed that reminder!

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