“You must set up a hypothesis and then test it—that is the only way in which you can get at anything,” writes one of my friends of the written word (G.A. Student Kennedy). This is true of science and it is true of life, particularly the life of faith. The method used by Newton to discover the law of gravity is the same method by which we must come at life and faith. We have to make our great guess, set up our grand hypothesis, and then test and verify it by living as though it were true.
Our “guess” is our guiding star and we must follow it into our world of time and space, testing it in both the dark and the light. We must follow it as we confront every obstacle, whether mountain, valley or desert, follow it in every confusing perplexity, live it out in both good and troublesome times and in the midst of heartache and joy.
My great guess (God Is) made many years ago, and the hypothesis (therefore, Love is at the heart of all things, because God is and God is like Jesus) has been tested and found reliable. With Martin Luther I can say, “Here I stand, I can do no other.” To be sure it is an act of Faith—but not a “blind” one. G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” I have tried it on for many years and confess that it has been and still is extremely difficult, but not wanting, in my experience. There is a “mystic certainty” that has come in these later years and I sing now with joy and wonder:
|Peru: Feeding the Llama|
Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory; Lord of love;
hearts unfold like flowers before thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!
All thy works with joy surround thee, earth and heaven reflect thy rays,
stars and angels sing around thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and fountain, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
chanting bird and flowing fountain, call us to rejoice in thee.
Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blest,
wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our brother, all who live in love are thine;
teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.