These days, I find myself with more questions than answers. Although still based in the original foundations of scripture and relationship, my faith is changing.
No longer do I think in terms of black and white. In fact, I spend more time thinking and meditating than I do reciting the rules I grew up with.
I am more aware than ever of grace and its powerful side effects of humility laced with joy.
Now I know how damaging legalism has been in my life and in the lives of others who are asking for another chance, for another splash of grace on their hardened souls.
I am more careful of how I answer the questions of others who ask me about faith, about God, about what happens after death. I respect their need to discover these answers for themselves, and I know that my faith does not look like theirs nor theirs like mine.
I spend more time in silence before God, just beholding who he is with awe. As I am more aware of my inner self and my desire for intimacy with God, I also feel him pulling me closer – wanting to spend more time with me as well.
I am more disgusted with the stuff of this world and the lies we are fed. It pleases me to turn off the television and unplug from the electronics that threaten to overtake all imagination and leave us truly fried.
I am more determined than ever to make sure that young women do not have to struggle with these same lies. To let them know that they are enough within themselves, that they are incredibly beautiful and they do not have to starve themselves or pay someone to cut them to try to look more acceptable. God gazes longingly at them and sees his son. What could be more fulfilling?
I am more in awe of what his holiness means and how we fall short yet somehow, he reaches toward us and loves us into his kingdom.
Psalm 33:22 challenges me. “Let your mercy and lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping for you.”
Our waiting and hoping for him: experiencing more of his presence and that awful dichotomy of yearning for a closer place near him yet dreading that when that happens, I won’t be able to stand it.
Then as I wait and hope, as my faith changes, grows and explodes, I experience even more of his mercy and lovingkindness. His patience allows me to draw ever closer to the mystery of his presence where there are more questions than answers.
So real it is frightening. So beautiful it is dreadful.
©2014 RJ Thesman – “Intermission for Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/1l4oGoo
Wonderful! Indeed faith changes. After a weekend at a Buddhist retreat center my faith has become even stronger, I no longer feel the need to follow a specific religious practice or a specific set of (someone else’s) rules, I simply have faith in the immense power of love, the enormous gift of compassion and the great joy of opening oneself up to the wounds and wonders of all people. Sometimes to “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) is the best action of all.
I’m so glad, Anita, for your renewed joy ! I do believe as well that we need to stop, be still and learn to know more and more about God. As we focus even more on Him, we can find joy in knowing that He loves us so much – He gave us the best gift of all – His son. And our relationship with Him goes so far beyond rules, traditions and expectations of others. He is Love in its purest form.