Tension is a passing note

I have what seems to be an unquenchable thirst for peace through knowledge. What I mean by this is that I like  to have things figured out. Who wouldn’t, right? I spend lots of time thinking and studying and seeking after solutions to problems. There’s nothing wrong with this in and of itself, except that like I said, sometimes I’m seeking to find peace through knowledge alone, and ultimately that can never really happen, especially in matters of faith.

When you really figure out Eucharistic theology, what you find is that no theology accurately describes what happens in the sacrament, and you sure can’t articulate it either. You read everything on the internet about predestination, and you find that a fully biblical doctrine election somehow incorporates free-will. You try to find a body of believers to identify with, and you find none of them exemplify their oh-so-elegant confessional statements. You start looking at yourself and your heart drops because the depth of your sin is overwhelming, but somehow the light of grace keeps you from sinking all the way down.  You come to grips with the fact you are a sinner and saint and that somehow life is both sacred and so, so profane that your heart aches. Violence seems like the culmination of the corruption of the universe, but then it is the only way we can think of to end the steady march of evil toward our loved ones.  For every piece of knowledge you gain, something you don’t know is revealed. Paradox is par for the course in authentic Christianity.

Where is the peace? I think it’s in the difficult, simple act of trusting Jesus. In the midst of rushing rivers of tension that threaten to sweep us away each day, there’s a spot of calm in the storm, and it’s the empty tomb of a resurrected Lord that we can rely on to be our prophet, priest, and king.

I’m not saying that we trust with no basis in knowledge. Part of the reason we trust is that we really can know that Jesus is lord. But trust extends beyond knowledge, past the tensions of life and sin and doctrine and feeble attempts to reconcile them all, and into an anchor of covenant relationship.

Maybe all the tension exists so we don’t have anywhere else to look but to our Lord.


Tension is to be loved when it is a like a passing note, to a beautiful, beautiful chord.

“Tension is a Passing Note” by Sixpence None The Richer


Photo Some rights reserved by Radio Saigón