Searching For God We Find Ourselves
Thoughts on the First Readings -Joe Frankenfield
Feast of the Holy Trinity
Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9
William James, the 19th century philosopher and psychologist believed that the central pain of life is the fear that nothing makes any difference. Or, as my young nephew once said after waves washed away his second sand castle, “It’s no use making another one; they just get knocked down. It’s stupid.”
Most of us have wondered whether our lives mean anything. The experience of throwing ourselves into some task, some dream, only to watch our efforts come to nothing is universal. We struggle with the reality of such failure throughout life, often to the hour of our deaths. If we don’t come to terms with it and find ways to invest ourselves completely in life in spite of it, our lives become meaningless.
This painful aspect of our existence underlies the first statement of our faith – that, at the heart of all reality, there is a loving Creator. That assertion is our refusal to give in to the temptation of meaninglessness.
It’s odd how often we speak as though we can understand God as God understands himself. Such knowledge is impossible given our decidedly un-divine intellects. It is much more helpful to realize that what we know and say about God is what it benefits us most to know and say about God.
The first image in that Trinity, Father, is the source of all and guarantee that all is worthy of being. It is the guarantee that we are worthy of being – that the universe and we within it have a lasting destiny.
God, the Father, the customary name we give to the first person of the Trinity, is a statement that, whatever failures we may endure pursuing our most precious dreams, nothing good that we do is ever lost. Everything good we attempt reflects and participates in the creative force of the universe.
That is what my nephew is learning about life and God – and castle building – as he grows in faith.