Well, I feel like I’m catching up and “normalizing” some!
- Over the last month, and especially in the last week or two, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve found that there are a lot of people that don’t have all the answers, don’t pretend to, and don’t feel they have to.
- I’ve met people whose peace doesn’t come from knowing they are perfect, but knowing they don’t need to be.
- My goal has become not praying a certain amount of time or doing certain activities or keeping to a certain schedule, but just enjoying everything that is set before me to do.
- My friends can now be chosen not based on an itemized list of do’s and don’ts, but on their character.
- Fear and worry no longer capitalize my time. Stress no longer wears me down. I’m finally able to breathe! More than that, I’m finally able to live!
Everyone is different. I had questions for years, and mentally began leaving long before I physically walked out. But this is a beautiful place to be. I haven’t left God- I’ve finally found Him. I haven’t backslid- I’m moving forward. Apparently the pastor has made comments about me, marked, labeled, condemned me now. And it doesn’t matter, because he’s wrong, and there is no sin in saying that.
Wow. I guess this is kind of like how a climber feels after a difficult climb- finally reaching the summit. When we were kids, someone would try to get away, and the group would grab them and be pulling them back. When I’d break free, I’d race forward- it was almost like flying. That’s how it feels. Or that minute right after take off- feeling the ground rough beneath the plane and suddenly realizing you’re airborne.
I’ve talked to enough people now that I realize that no one has all the answers. It isn’t that there isn’t “The Truth”, but that the truth is much simpler than all the exegetical, theological debates would like to make it. The people who seem happiest and most satisfied in their faith seem to be those that don’t wrestle with it, who don’t think perfection is the answer. We’re human. None of us is perfect. It’s God’s grace, His sacrifice, His love that are important, not our efforts. Should we do our best for him? Sure. But nothing we can do will ever equal what He already did for us. Should we seek to know Him more? Of course, but not through great theological debates and discourses. He has all knowledge, so what are our puny thoughts? There is no way we can explain Him, no way we can contain Him with our words, no matter how great and swelling we think they may be. We’re really so little in comparison to the God that made the universe. And yet He gives us an opportunity to know Him. Not know Him scientifically or theologically. He invites us to know Him on a much different level. Personally.
Rich Mullins’ influence, I guess. He had a much different perspective… and there were lots of people that didn’t appreciate it. I can appreciate it, and it’s kind of anchored me a little better, remembering all I used to believe and how rich my faith really was even before I set foot in a Pentecostal church.