Sunday, July 02, 2006
It's funny..... Over the last year I have questioned every belief and discarded a fair percentage of them. At no point would I have considered what I was going through to be a crisis of faith, or even an unpleasant ordeal. It was a fascinating journey, daunting, even scary at times, but always exciting, stimulating, always pulling me forward into bigger questions and stretching my mind to an unrecognizable landscape.
Until the big question, the most important question, the scariest question, the question whose answer determines not only my happiness and confidence but also the course of my entire life. Not the existence of God, not the Godhood of Jesus, not the validity of the christian faith.....
Does God care?
Sure, I know He's out there. I can see that He's powerful and intelligent. All of these things are only comfort to me if I am certain that He..... shall we say..... gives a rats ass.
I mean, sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by the evil and suffering in the world.... in my own neighborhood. I know I'm not the only person to feel this way, and I remember all of my theological reasoning to explain this stuff away.
Does He care? When little boys are forced at gunpoint to shoot their own parents, where is God? Why would he perform a miracle in one place, such as the restoration of a deaf man's hearing, but not in this moment, when the child soldier is initiated into a future of violence and mental brokenness?
While I understand that I can't expect to comprehend, I am going to admit that I have been doubting His goodwill. And if God is unable or unwilling to prevent that boy from shooting his own mother, then what makes me think that God is thinking about..... say..... my future spouse, or that He has any sort or plan for my life, or that He's even looking in my direction. Like Ani said:
What if no one's watching
What if when we're dead we are just dead
What if God's not looking down
He's looking up instead
But then the side of me that clings to faith points to the little things. Finding a job, a home, and a roommate in a new city over the course of about 3 days. Abu being born on my birthday. Corrie Ten Boom. Nelson Mandela. Ghandi. All the liberian refugees who made it safely to canada despite impossible odds. Trees. Dogs.
I can't disregard the fact that I have a home and a job and a dog and friends and family without being an ungrateful child. After all, it's not as though I was born to privilege. How could I think that God doesn't care? How could I be such an ass?
I consider myself a very patient person, but I guess there are some things which are trying my patience. Part of me thinks that God won't come through in the areas that are so close to my heart. Part of me thinks that an impossible situation truly is impossible, and the "God of the impossible" is preoccupied with the impossible middle eastern peace.
Once again, my dad comes through with balance and wisdom. "I guess you have to decide to have faith." My dad can say things like that because He's very familiar with the emotional and spiritual abuse committed in the name of "just having faith" exempt from intelligent thought.
But He's right. I think that everyone has that point, and it's different for everyone. But I have reached my point, that key stone that will hold it all up, and I have a choice now. I can decide that I believe God cares, and live my life accordingly, or I can decide that I'm the only one looking out for me. If I choose faith, I open myself up to disappointment, but I will be a more secure and content person. If I choose otherwise..... there's no upside to that. I look into the future and see myself becoming a frustrated, stressed out and cynical person.
In this light, the answer seems obvious to me, but as in all things, I may take a little while to process. It feels like I've been through a pattern of silence and disappointment, and I expect the same in the future. It's hard to believe one thing when a contrasting pattern tells you otherwise.
Please someone say something helpful. I really am having a hard time with all this. I haven't said the half of it, and I'm having a hard time organizing my thoughts.
Thanks for stopping by and witnessing my mess.