I’m still in Jacob’s book, The Year of Living Biblically. A few things he’s written has struck me. I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be “free.” Does free mean being about to choose to do whatever you want, or is the freedom you have after a decision more important? For example, some thing freedom means being promiscuous or doing drugs. But then, many times, you live with guilt, an unwanted pregnancy, or an addiction. After you freely chose, you no longer are free.
Jacobs talks about an experiment where two tables of jelly where made for free samples. One table had 6 jars of different flavors, the other had 24 jars of different flavors. Most people who bought jelly bought from the table with 6 jars. The thought was that 24 jars was overwhelming.
Jacob’s point is that many people don’t like religion because they think it restricts their choices, their freedom. But in the end, it might be that people aren’t wired for too much freedom, that they become self-destructive by too many choices.
A second thing Jacob’s pointed out, something I realized a few months ago:
“I’d always found the praising-God parts of the Bible and my prayer books awkward. The sentences about the all-powerful, almighty, all-knowing, the host of hosts, He who has greatness beyond our comprehension. I’m not used to talking like that. It’s so over the top. I’m used to understatement and hedging and irony. And why would God need tobe praised in the first place? God shouldn’t be insecure. He’s the ultimate being.
Now I can sort of see why. It’s not for him. It’s for us. It takes you out of yourself and your prideful little brain.” p. 220.