String Theory / by Andrew Fairfield

Dear friends,

Sometimes we really need a little simplicity. Life is so terribly complicated, it can feel like we struggle every day with too much information, too many decisions. It can be a wonderful, even healing, thing to rest our minds on a little simplicity, a straightforward path that we can trust to guide us rightly.

That simple path is exactly what we find in the poetry of this week’s reading from the letter of 1 John. It asserts in the plainest terms that those who truly believe that Jesus is the Messiah are the children of God; that God’s children will obey Christ’s commandment to love, and that those who obey, who are born of God, will conquer the world. Belief → obedience → victory -- a nice simple string, a straightforward path.

What does that string of assertions have to do with physics and "string theory" which I alluded to in the subject line? Nothing, really, except this: String theory is the ongoing attempt to unify and explain what we know about modern physics, and that search continues because of an underlying belief in simplicity -- a belief that underneath all the confusing data and books of numbers and equations, there is a reality that is relatively simple and actually quite straightforward if we could just get to the right understanding.

The New Testament doesn’t do us much good when it comes to finding a simple solution to modern physics. But it does assert, again and again, that when it comes to finding a simple solution to modern life all you have to do is trust in the Way of Christ, allow yourself to be filled with self-sacrificial love, and everything else will follow. Easier said than done, to be sure, but it’s wonderfully comforting to have that simplicity to lean on.

May each of us love as Christ would have us love, our belief leading to obedience, our obedience leading to victory-- a world at peace, simplicity itself.

God’s grace be with you,