Annunciation and Adventure
She said “Yes.” God was rather intrusive, some might say. He interrupted Mary and Joseph’s plans, to introduce his Son into the world through them. God is always up to mischief, and I suppose it is necessary, because we are so apt to control and manipulate God.
Nowadays, it is not altogether uncommon for people to use God as a sanction for violence and hate. Even in our common experience, God is an object to manipulate the desired outcome for perhaps sports. I think its a statistic that you’ll give up being an atheist while watching sports, and your team is ever close to loosing the game.
She said “Yes.” What I mean to say, is that often we spin things around, and expect God to say yes to us. It can be Christlike to pray for our daily bread, when we are worried about those we love who are unemployed. When there are so many who are in danger of loosing their jobs, it is a holy thing to plea to God for our sustenance. And then, when people all over the world are dying of starvation, we sit around debating whether it is immoral to eat certain types of food, or use fields of corn as alternative energy, amidst this sort of starvation. When our daily needs have become so superfluous and complicated, and our opportunities endless, our desires insatiable, how easy it is to accuse God for not giving us all the spoils of Paris Hilton.
She said “Yes.” We want God to appease our appetite, we want God to say yes, we want God to want what we want, but we never want to want what God wants. What does God want? God wants us to love, God wants us to work for justice. It is easy to complain about God who does not provide justice, when we are unwilling to work for it. What hypocrisy?
She said “Yes.” Many people think that the sacrifices of religion are legal impositions of control freaks. The strange thing is, that the wisdom of every world religion recognizes the importance of surrender. The Buddhist attains nirvana, by surrendering all desire. Islam is literally translated as surrender to Allah. To the Christian, surrender is about freedom from sin. Surrender to the Christian is about saying yes to God. The consequence of that Yes, as is the consequence of every other yes that we say, is a conclusive and decisive no, which excludes other possibilities.
She said “Yes.” Point is, Mary did her part. She gave up control. We try to control God, we try to control others. The attitude is, that unless we operate every facet of our lives, we will loose. This is a false assumption. When we let go of control, and take the leap of faith, we can be open to the grace and courage to face the future. We can behold all the surprises with an adventurous spirit. It is precisely when we say yes, that the adventure with God begins.