A Word About “Appropriate,” “Satisfying” Confusion
By Ken K. Gourdin
Some time ago, BYU’s Dan Peterson, who blogs on Sic et non at Patheos and who specializes in the area, had a word about the terms “Near East” and “Middle East,” which seem, largely, to be interchangeable, and the term used simply depends on the preference of one’s interlocutor.
After his elucidation of the matter, Professor Peterson said he hoped he had helped readers of the blog. His comments are in quotation marks, and my responses follow:
“I hope that clarifies things.”
Alas, it doesn’t.
“Or, at least, that it confuses you in an appropriate and satisfying way.”
Now this, it does. This, it does. I am appropriately and satisfyingly confused! And since confusion about various aspects of my life is my default state, I’ve hit upon a metaphor for life (although I’m sure you weren’t intending this post to be taken to quite these lengths): Since it seems that I’m destined to be confused about various aspects of my life regardless, I might as well, at least, be “appropriately” and “satisfyingly” confused!
I’m reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words to the Corinthians: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
“Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9.