It Matters Who God Is, And No, California Is Not An Island

Walter Brueggemann wrote. “God is the map whereby we locate the setting of our life, that God is the water in which we launch our life raft, that God is the real thing from which and toward which we receive our being and identify ourselves. It follows that the kind of God at work in your life will determine the shape and quality and risk at the center of your existence. It matters who God is.”  Powerful words.

Our view of who God is or is not settles as maybe the fundamental paradigm of our lives.  It likewise becomes the most surprising – our view of God evolving and along with that unfolding the “the shape and quality and risk at the center” of our existence evolves as well.  God then becomes what what God has always been – the “I am”, the “I will be who I will be.”  That speaks to freedom and yet those words from the Old Testament yield up a wonderous surprise of a God who while free remains steadfastly consistent – a partner of unwavering love who is forever coming into Being.

I think of the old maps of California.  As the land was originally charted, cartographers  portrayed it as an island for over a 100 years, detached from the North American continent.

For 70 years there was overwhelming evidence that the opposite was true – that California was not an island.  And yet it took all that time for the maps to change, for the assuredness that “history” and “experience” supplied to be finally overturned.  It was not that California had ever changed.  We had.

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