Let’s be honest. I’m terrified. I’m terrified of where Jedidiah’s Journey will go. I’m terrified of what I will find if I honestly and openly ask my questions.
I think I am most afraid that I will go forth kicking and screaming only to discover that I was merely a spoiled child throwing a temper tantrum. I am afraid, not that I will discover the truth about God, but that I will discover that I already know the truth and have simply been rebelling against it. I will be a charlatan. A fool.
Perhaps I am only first afraid of this. Behind the fear of being discovered a fool is the fear that there is nothing to discover. That is my greatest fear. That I will press into the mystery and not find a marvel too great to comprehend, but that I will find nothing. Or that I will not know the difference when I see it.
I feel as though I am walking a knife’s edge between mystery and oblivion. On one side is a vast mystery just waiting to be revealed, and on the other is not error but nothing. Absolutely nothing. Where questions become meaningless because the answers are nebulous, empty. Tohu wa bohu.
One thing about Christianity that has always been a comfort to me was how tactile and grounded it was. Or at least that it seemed. It gave me a holistic worldview that explained where I came from, why I’m here, and where I’m going. It was rooted and grounded in things like blood and death and birth. It was historical.
But it ceased to be all these things. The more I pressed in to what I thought should be reliable, the more ethereal it all became. The more it was all headspace. What good are all the facts and philosophies in the world if my experience is inconsistent and unreliable? You can believe whatever you want as long as it’s not measurable. Everything I had was simply arguments in my head. Whiteboard talks.
What can I point at in my life and say, “This is irrefutably the work of God”?
I get it. Someone will say that’s the point of faith. In The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer wrote, “Any faith that must be supported by the evidence of the senses is not real faith.” But what good is a faith that has to stay locked in a box with Schrödinger’s cat? If faith is only faith when it remains unobserved, then how will it ever have the power to move mountains?
Christianity was never a walk of blind faith for me. Just because we walk by faith and not by sight doesn’t mean that we’re blind. It means that faith sees more than our eyes do. Faith should be about coming alive, not waiting to die. Truth should set us free, not cage us in. The life we are promised in Christ is an abundant life, not a life of scarcity.
This is the life I long to live, and I want to know that I’m living it. But even if I find it, I’m afraid that I won’t know the difference between my efforts and the true life-flow of the Spirit, that creative force that breathes life into everything.
Maybe that’s where faith comes in, trusting that when we abide in Him by choosing love over fear we are in the life-flow of the Spirit.
Wait. Full Stop. Do you see that “when”? There, in the paragraph just before this one. That “when” is scarcity. Do you see it?
The sun has risen on us all. It rains on the just and unjust alike. We are all already in the life-flow of the Spirit. Faith is our ability to see that, to be aware of it and to engage with that truth; the truth that will set us free.
There is no “when” between us and the life-flowing love of God.
Even in our most depraved state, we are still not outside of, or restricted from, the life-flowing love of God. The only “when” is between us and our awareness of His love.
Perhaps, what I’m struggling with is just how vast this life-flowing love of God is. It’s so big that there’s even room in it for all the depravity of man. But how is that supposed to make me feel safe?
Maybe love isn’t safe. Maybe it’s vulnerable. Maybe love is meant to be snatched from the vine and violently consumed, giving it’s life-flow to its devourer. Maybe it’s also meant to be cultivated, cared for, plucked gently from the vine, and prepared in delicacy to be savored with appreciation. Maybe love is meant for all these things, and that’s why it’s so big and inclusive and vulnerable.
Do I have the courage, the faith, to be part of such love?