The Book of Proverbs speaks of things that appear beyond human understanding:
There are three things that are too wonderful for me,
four that I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship in the sea,
and the way of a man with a woman. (Prov. 30:18-19, NET)
Those things defy comprehension because of their wonder. I often run across news stories or events that make no sense to me because of their apparent absurdity. I can understand the basic issues involved, usually, but I can’t comprehend why people would do some things that appear to be patently irresponsible, unloving, or spiteful. I’ll follow the writer of Proverbs in naming four:
1. Going on a bender and then trying to drive back home, thus putting everyone on the highway, including one’s self, at high risk for injury or death. I get it that someone who’s already blasted has impaired judgment, but I’m guessing most people know in advance if they plan to drink heavily while out. It’s not that hard to plan ahead and be responsible.
2. Killing innocent people to make a political statement makes no sense to me. I understand that random acts of violence can inculcate terror and give one’s shady organization undue and undeserved power, but I can’t get into the head of an extremist who really believes murduring women and children (or men, for that matter) can possibly honor even the most twisted understanding of God.
3. Promoting ridiculous conspiracy theories escapes me. What motivates some tongue-waggers to keep insisting, and trying to persuade others, that President Obama is a Muslim, for example, when he has publicly embraced the Christian faith? Why continue claiming that he’s not really an American by birth? What is going on in the heads of those who believe such drivel?
4. Exclusion of fellow believers on the basis of a very narrow interpretation of scripture is beyond me. Recently the Georgia Baptist Convention, for the second time, voted to boot from its membership a vital and historic church for no other reason than that those churches have women serving in pastoral roles. Choosing that one misguided rule from the “Baptist Faith and Message 2000” as a test of fellowship, while ignoring so many other aspects of what it means to be a healthy and cooperating congregation, makes no sense. Nor does the idea that it is somehow logical to say “Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes,” but then spell out a sexist exclusion for congregations who democratically affirm a woman pastor because they believe Christ has brought them together.
Some things make no sense at all, but not because they are wonderful.