Where are my eyes?
I mean what am I focusing on. The 3 challenges I made to myself last week are things I’m gradually looking into and will post about in future, but today (for I think I’ll probably update this thing on Sunday afternoons) I’ve been thinking more about my faith. I’m a Christian, and I always feel I should add a caveat at this point. Some of my favourites are:
* But I’m not very good at it
* But I’m not one of the scary ones
* But I’m kind of struggling at the moment
* But don’t judge other Christians by my erratically terrible conduct
… and so on and so forth. Nevertheless, there is, in the very core of me, something that is very real to me, something that has impacted my life more than anything – the story, message and person of Jesus.
I have found faith very hard. I struggle to reconcile the Bible, which as I read it resonates with truth, with my day to day life, which is largely an attempt to get through each day in a harsh world. Many things in the Bible have troubled me so greatly that I’ve almost lost hope entirely; certain scriptures have weighed so heavily upon me that I’ve felt that I was a hopeless case. The more I’ve looked inward, the more I’ve felt like this.
Conversely, the best times, the times I’ve been on a high, have been when I’ve managed to take my eyes off myself, in all my neuroses, and actually look at the subject of my faith. My knowledge of my own wretchedness renders my gaze a timid, skittering thing, like a small bird with its fragile heart racing afraid to alight on a sturdy bough, but every now and then I catch a glimpse at somebody whose love truly transcends time and space. That God could love me is pretty much the most basic tenet of the Christian faith, and surely the most beautiful, but I find it much easier to see Him as not only my judge, but somebody gleefully watching for my mistakes. His true character, however, is Good in it’s purest sense, and those times when I’ve really encountered his direct intervention in my life have been solid rocks for my feet to clamber upon. When I felt like I was drowning in fear, God reached out to me through a prophet’s words in a church service.
And so, I wrestle with the things about my faith that trouble me. I constantly re-examine what it is I believe. Things get shaken and some things fall away, yet some holds true and firm. There are many voices, many doctrines, many interpretations, but one thing has held firmer than any other for me; that Jesus is God’s son, and He’s alive. I call Him “Lord”, and I really wish I truly lived out what that meant.
A bout of wrestling often takes a long time to resolve. There are phases, setups, transitions. There are takedowns, underhooks, controls, jockeying for position, pins, submissions. I will wrestle my whole life with my faith, may I never be so arrogant as to assume I have its every facet pinned down.