Monday, November 3, 2008

Yin Yang

Getting acquainted with someone of another culture is always an enlightening moment – not only do we learn of another way of living and thinking, but we gain insight into our own patterns of thought and life.

I’m reading a book about the Trinity written by a Korean Christian whose world and life have been shaped by Yin Yang thinking. In a nutshell, Yin Yang is a both/and way of thinking, inclusive of what we might call opposites. You’re probably familiar with the symbol:

Opposites not only intertwine, but they contain a bit of the opposite within them.

We see a lot of this in Scripture – Psalms 22 and 23; Genesis 1 and 2; 1 Kings 18 and 19 … the life of Jesus: Bethlehem and Calvary, joy and sorrow, silence and speech. Read Ecclesiastes 3 for a poetic grasp of Yin Yang.

Life is rarely clear-cut – mostly a little of this and a little of that, with most of our choices never totally clear, a downside, an upside, to everything.

We sometimes get trapped trying to make the “right” decision. In all likelihood, looking back on our days, it’s not about making the “right” decision, but making a decision, getting on with it, having weighed up all the factors with all the love for life we can muster, seeking someone’s counsel as well, and then, with prayer and hope, going for it, staying with it, modifying it as we go along, adding and subtracting from it as the process unfolds.

Have you pressured yourself to make the “right” decision, maybe petrified of making the “wrong” one? Hoping something or someone will come along and say, “This is the choice to make.” I’ve been there many a time. But no one can tell us, not even God, and no event or circumstance ever makes it totally clear.

We just have to choose as best we can and trust the power of life and love, the power of God, and the goodness of those around us. And in all of it, we will find grace finding us.


Nancy said...

Tom, Thanks. This so true. All we can do is our spiritual "due diligence" - and that is the work of a lifetime- and move forward. Whats the name and author of the book your reading? Always looking for a new book to read.

castaway said...

Nancy, the book is: "The Trinity in Asian Perspective" by Jung Young Lee (Abingdon) - fascinating thus far - about 20% into it. I studied some of this years ago - what with Jung, Taoism, now find myself returning to some of it ... helpful to remember: in either/or thinking, if one is right, everyone else has to be wrong ... in both/and thinking, things are more fluid and inclusive. When folks crave "answers," wrong answers are likely to be given.

Darren King said...

Tom, about 12 years ago you also spoke to these ideas and said, "There isn't anything so bad that it's a total failure...and there isn't anything so great, that it's a total success..." I remember this because I quote you on this often, mostly it seems at work...but other areas of life, Darren

Stushie said...

From William P Young's book, The Shack
God: Remember this, humans are not defined by their limitations, but by the intentions that I have for them.

Bad choices are those that separate us from God's intentions; good choices occur when we decide to follow His ways.