Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Pigs Might Fly (10/31/13)
By Steve McClure
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“Woodchucks don’t chuck wood,” the slender, 30-ish-looking man responded blandly.
“That’s the point,” continued the graying, elder gentleman. “In our world, woodchucks don’t chuck wood.”
“What do you mean ‘in our world’?” the younger man asked quizzically.
“Just that. The supernatural for the world is unnatural. It’s not real; it’s the stuff of science fiction…and myths.”
“So?” pressed the younger man as the two turned into the small cafeteria.
“Jesus walked on water,” the elder said matter-of-factly, reaching for a coffee cup.
“So the bible says,” retorted the younger, grabbing a cup.
“You don’t believe the bible?” asked the elder, filling his.
“Some things are pretty hard to believe.” The younger filled his cup and the two moved to a table.
“Well,” the elder began, sitting down, “maybe your God isn’t big enough”
“Yeah,” said the elder, sipping his coffee. “The God of the bible is a big God. The supernatural is his realm. He can do anything he wants – just look around you. Placing limits on what he can do makes him small.
“Maybe,” drawled the younger. “But what if evolution does explain all this? God wouldn’t be involved, and the supernatural would remain science fiction.”
“Even if the Big Bang were true,” explained the elder, “God would play a part. You’re still left with something created from nothing in the very beginning.”
“Perhaps,” allowed the younger. “But walking on water…?”
“Small God,” the elder pointed out. “How do you explain your salvation? How can you avoid the supernatural there?”
“I can’t explain it very well,” replied the younger. “He died for my sins, however that works.”
“However?” questioned the elder. “That’s the supernatural part. Love so great, mercy so deep that God gave his only begotten son. And for what – he doesn’t need us? Is there anything as unnatural as that?
“You have a point,” acknowledged the younger.
“Then, he raised him from the dead,” the elder continued.
“Now, that’s really hard to grasp.”
“We don’t have to grasp it; we’re small. We just need to understand that God is big enough to do that. Because if Jesus is still dead, we’re dead. There is no salvation.”
“I hear you,” said the younger. “But it’s hard to get my arms around it all.”
“That’s where you’re stumbling – trying to get your arms around it. God commands only that we believe it…that we believe what he has done for us through his Son. He doesn’t say we have to comprehend how he did it, only that he did.”
“So, salvation depends on believing in the supernatural?”
“Let’s settle for unnatural,” offered the elder. “Grace is not natural, and it’s the essence of salvation.”
“Grace,” repeated the younger. “Just what is that, anyway?”
“Grace? Well, simply put, it’s forgiveness – unconditional forgiveness. And that’s hard, if you think about it. Real hard. It’s not our natural tendency. When we’re wronged, we want to get even. We like to call it justice, but it’s really getting even. We want it so bad that even when we do forgive someone, in our hearts we’re still looking for that justice. Forgiveness is very unnatural. You get my drift?”
“Yeah, I do,” replied the younger. “I know we’re supposed to forgive, but it’s not something I relish doing.
“Well, you’re not alone. We’re all that way. But God isn’t. Forgiving is natural for him – it’s something he likes to do. And from our viewpoint, his forgiveness is supernatural. Can you see that?”
“Yeah, I guess so,” said the younger, pondering. “But rising from the dead….”
“It’s part of the package,” the elder interrupted. “The New Testament is full of witnesses to the resurrection – we don’t need to prove it. We just need to believe it.”
“I suppose,” the younger acknowledged, still hesitant.
“Give it some thought,” said the elder, finishing his coffee. “And read about it yourself. Read the end of the Gospels to get a good feel for the witnesses. Then start looking at 1st John – he talks about all this. And maybe we can talk again.”
“Yeah, I’d like that,” the younger responded. “You’ve given me some things to think about. But, what’s all this got to do with woodchucks?”
“Just to prod you to think. Our God is a big God. So, if he wants a woodchuck to chuck wood, what do you think will happen?
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