The Human Propensity to F things up

One of the parish groups is starting to read Unapologetic, by Francis Spufford.  In the book, after a chapter about why faith makes sense he turns to sin, but he doesn’t call it sin, because of the connotations that the word sin has accumulated in modern society – there is even a diet where treats are described as sins – instead he uses the title of this post.

He goes on to suggest that for many of us we have ended up where we are because of choices that we have made, and that in many cases we thought we were making the best choice at the time, but it has led us to this place where we would rather not be.

Whilst reading it I was reminded of our last book, Falling Upward, by Richard Rohr.  In this Richard Rohr suggests that in the first half of life we need to develop our ego, and yet it is often our ego which causes us to to fall prey to the Hptftu.

And yet… looking at my own life, in the first half of life I thought I could do anything, achieve anything, and in many ways I did – and I ended up with a life which wasn’t the one I wanted!  And then it all fell apart; I was made redundant, my marriage failed, I was badly ill – yet it was through these events that I am now where I am.

Is there some sense in which we need to fail, need to recognise our Hptftu before we can truly recognise what sin is, and recognise our need for forgiveness from God?

I once heard someone say of another person: “he hasn’t suffered enough to be a bishop”, and at the time I didn’t really understand it – I think perhaps I now at least understand it a little better.


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