I’ve been on a journey. A journey to deepen my faith, knowledge of God, and love for God. Each of these are different, distinct parts of my spiritual journey that took me through mountains and valleys and if I am completely honest, lower than a valley. You could call this my search for the real Christianity, a journey I am still on and I believe nobody comes to the end of this side of heaven. It is likely that even after an eternity with the Father in heaven, I still might not be at the end of what there is to discover about God.
While the end may not be in sight, there had to be a beginning. Thus my beginning begins with a deconstruction of my belief and faith. Some of it came from doubt, trying to navigate spiritual waters when God seemed far away. Like the Psalmist David once wrote, I would wonder why God had forsaken me, leaving me frustrated, downhearted, and yes, doubtful of his love, grace, mercy, and His very existence.
I am no theologian, scholar, or seminary student though at times, I wish I was. There are things I think I might understand better if I was a better and formal student of His word. I often used this as an excuse as to why I didn’t do certain things at church or lead a Bible study or even teach a chapel. It has also been used as an excuse to not talk to others about Jesus, to not evangelize and “make disciples of all the nations”. What if they ask me a question I don’t know? What if I say the wrong thing? What if they see my sin? My failures. My stumbling around? What if I fail God and they walk away because of something I said or did (or didn’t do)?
And that is where I had to begin. I had to deconstruct the idea that somehow, it was all about me. The hard thing to understand is that the story of the Bible is not about humanity, but about God. Yes, humanity is God’s most loved creation, but the story of the Bible, while co-starring humans, really stars God and His attempt restore humanity to holiness they can find true peace and love in dwelling with the Father.
I am still on this journey. I am fearful about making this public. The same old questions arise. What if I say the wrong thing? What if I am challenged? What if a theologian rebukes me for heresy as unintentional as it might be? Will there be grace moving forward or swift judgment by all who read. I was once scared off by comments from atheists and others who would challenge my beliefs. This time I took the time to carefully consider my position on things through time in God’s word and the great scholars that have written commentaries and books that expound upon what is already contained in the Holy Scriptures. As much as possible I will try and cite those sources so you can also discover these great Christian thinkers for yourself.
Maybe you have been where I am, between doubt and faith. Not really giving up but feeling as if God was miles away. If this is you, then you are not alone. That was me. That IS me. I am still learning and discovering the greatness of God. I hope this gives you hope and encourages you to dive deeper in your own faith and discovery. Whether you are on a spiritual high or low, let me encourage you to keep searching, keep praying, and keep seeking. Welcome to the journey.