As I was tucking my son, Jack, in bed last night we were talking about growing up and being responsible, being a good big brother, being tough on the football field (that is the consuming thing right now as he is in the heat of 5th grade football), learning about yourself, learning about God. While we were talking, he asked if all the stories in the bible were true, the old stories from people that lived 5,000-6,000 years ago like Adam and Eve and Noah.
All of a sudden I had an epiphany: It doesn’t really matter if they are true or not because that is not the point. The point is that these stories are telling us something about God. Whomever wrote those stories, whether is was Moses or some other dude, had an experience of/with God that they were trying to convey in a certain way. Whether they are real is not the point. The meaning of the experience is the point. What that experience says about God is the point. What that story/experience says about God is where the realness really exists. Why have I gotten so caught up in the historical realness and missed the meaning? Probably because we live in a post-Enlightenment non-mystical world where everything must be proven logically in order to be of value. We have forgotten as a culture that there are other avenues to knowing.
My friend Luke recently reminded me from one of our mutual favorites, The Matrix, how the “desert of the real” may not be what we all along thought it was. Sometimes what is real is something completely else.