This religion we live, this love we practice, this belief system we long to understand. It’s all a continuous striving. It pulls me this way and then that way. And just when I’ve got it all figured out, just when I’m feeling stable and as if I can stop questioning and figuring, the pendulum shifts and I sink hard and fast.
I’ve heard so much talk of it, and some live by it as if it’s life’s mantra. I search for it, struggle to grasp it, seek to find who has it. And at times I think I’ve seen it. There are moments I find myself believing there are those that have found perfect equilibrium. And there are moments I believe I’ve found it myself.
I’ve leaned so far to one side at times, my head so large I couldn’t see beyond my own conclusions. Searching the scriptures, I fall heavy into the dogmatism of theology. I know without doubt that there is truth. There is a black and white precision that can’t be muddled with blurry gray ideology. And I think I have to find it. I think I’m lost without it.
The problem is, there have been times that my scales were calculating with unjust weights- to say it bluntly, my priorities are all wrong. I need to adjust my lens- bring the focus out a little. Or maybe dial it in sharper? Because my cross hairs are centered on all the wrong things.
These words keep sounding in my ears- You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
And these- And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Isn’t that all I need? Is it a requirement that I know inside and out what the scriptures say regarding head coverings or how to treat your slave? Or if the treatment of a slave is really the issue at all? Do I need to be indoctrinated on the numerous verses regarding sexual sin or male and female roles in the church and family?
I’ve watched these and significant other issues come to the forefront of Christian conversation and it’s tiresome. It’s extreme. It’s enough to make the little children throw their weary hands in the air all huffy and puffy and just walk away. Give up. It makes me want to find something else to think about and talk about. Like, go buy some chocolate. For a friend of course. Or better yet for an enemy-and experience that emotional high.
When you have strong conviction solidified with rock-hard scripture and life experience to back it up, it’s pretty emotionally satisfying. It’s like an adrenaline rush. A spiritual sensation made up of holy truth and self rightness.
Yes, I think we all must be lovers of truth. But what is a lover of truth if not someone chasing after it, looking for it in every crease and crevice, like a hidden treasure. Unfortunately, many of us who are sold out for the truth aren’t searching for truth at all, but rather striving to feed ours to others while being too quick to reject another part of the grander portrait.
If I’m a lover of truth then I’m consistently open to the possibility that what I have accepted may be off. If His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are higher than ours, can I really grasp unquestionable absolute no-need-to-ask-questions truth? Can I really come to perfect, indisputable there-ya-have-it certainty?
And if my faith is built upon my supposed rock solid facts, and those facts prove to be mislead or even slightly off, where does that leave me?
If I drill the unquestionable facts into my child, and he later decides the earth is in fact millions of years old, and Mom was wrong all along, what else might Mom have been naïve about all those years?
I’ve pondered these things for some time now. These questions I have, these struggles I’m striving to overcome- they’re keeping me from sharing here. Or anywhere. I’m hindered in walking out what I think I know because so often what I know is slightly slanted or all wrong. But who says we can’t be wrong? Whoever said, “Don’t say a thing or type a word until you become a know-it-all about the issue”? And who wants to listen to a know-it-all anyway?
There will always be gaps and a lack of the absolute because God is a God of wonder, and His ways are unsearchable.
So maybe it’s not all about perfect balance, but rather teachability. Humility. A willingness to surrender.
I’m not a know-it-all, but my God is All-Knowing. I’m not perfect, but my God is perfection. Some days I lean too far toward Grace. Other days I’m all about the Law. And somehow He intertwines it and fills in my many gaps. Flawlessly. I look about and wonder how He never ceases to work it all out. For my good and yours. But above all for His glory.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” “Or who has first given to Him? And it shall be repaid to him?” For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.