Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sacred Ground

This is the title of the Star Trek: Voyager episode I watched on Netflicks the other night. Please don't stop reading if you are one of those who consigns everything Star Trek to the cosmic wastebin (i.e. gehenna). There's wisdom here.

I thought about calling this post "The Bottom Line" because when you are face to face with your own bottom line or that of another person's, you're on sacred ground. In the episode, Captain Janeway is helped to experience the paradox that is faith. While faith exercises itself to some degree through reason, it is based upon something that transcends reason. She discovers that faith is not pre-rational or irrational, but what some theologians terns transrational.

She wants to save the life of a crew member and sets about to scan, research, and otherwise cogitate her way through the mystery that is called "speaking to the ancestral spirits" by the natives of the world on which her crew member got in trouble when she acted like a tourist where holiness was required. Janeway's motivation is pure: she is ready to do "whatever it takes" to save her crewman's life.

A "guide" is provided for her and tells her that she already has what she needs to secure the healing. Janeway comes to the end of her ability to "understand" and steps into the normally deadly energy with nothing more than a beginning trust that the spirits are really there. She literally puts herself at their disposal, prepared to live or die with her crewmate.

Being a Star Trek episode, it all ends well, especially for Janeway who has a taste of life that is based not on prideful rationalism, but on trust in another realm that cannot be measured, quantified or turned into a formula.

Whether one is modern, post-modern, or prehistoric, God's invitation remains the same: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He shall direct your steps." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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