Sunday, June 26, 2005

Nita-ism and theology (or maybe good manners).

"Lord willing and the creek don't rise" or "God willing and the creek don't rise."

As in, "I'll see you in Atlanta next week, Lord willing and the creek don't rise."

Cf. James 4:13-15.

This expression leads me to this question: Doesn't the Lord have control of the creek? If He wills something, won't we be able to ford the creek? What does the expression seem to be saying? That both the "spiritual world" and the "natural world" have to have some congruency before whatever I want to accomplish can be accomplished and that there is no causal connection between the two worlds? Is this a sort of Southern gnosticism we are dealing with?

Or does this say something about the speaker, not about God. Yes, the Lord may will I do something, but I don't know if I can handle a rising creek. Whatever it is I am setting out to do, I'll do it if the Lord is willing and I don't have to put myself at risk. We have, then, a concession to one's own weakness. We are getting as far away from being arrogant as we can. So there is either a sense of one's limitations being expressed here or, maybe, simply a sort of politeness. Maybe both.

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