Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Truth and Mystery

I think it's crucial to understand that faith comes filled with truth and with mystery. I think that's why I can feel so very at home in two such drastically different churches. For me, it's easy - instinct - to cling to and treasure the Lutheran beliefs and traditions I grew up in. It's also incredibly comfortable for me to participate in my less conventional, mission loving, small group emphasizing, experiment encouraging current church. It's funny that this is easy for me. I'm an answers girl. I like things to be clear cut, but God has pretty clearly shown me He is not, so apparently my mind has given up on complete understanding And that leaves me to settle in to celebrating the diversity of His followers. I have a set of core beliefs that ring loud and true from childhood, but the things that are "the great questions", I don't often have a strong desire to take a side on and I don't think many of those things are so essential to understand. Against all odds, my "answers please! answers now!" personality let's it go on this front. I'm with Augustine - unity in the essentials, liberty in the non-essential, and charity in all. Charity - disagreeing in love - in the rare moments disagreement is necessary can disarm the most ardent reactions. 

Anyway, In the last week or so I've been reflecting on 2012 and there are some truly precious memories - great experiences with friends, countless blessings, but I also remember some really hard moments. Lessons learned and hurt felt. It wasn't all bad, but I'm not sad to see 2012 behind me. I remember gathering this time last year with friends and talking about what I wanted in the year to come - nothing outrageous, just sort of the reasonable, hopeful, what's next in life thoughts. And mostly, they just weren't what the year would hold at all.   (Silly me, thinking I have any control. Or that I'd be any good at making the plan if I did.). There have been some unexpected other positives, but in many ways, it felt like a treading water sort of year. I wasn't drowning and I'm stronger for it, but it sure wasn't anything I hoped for. 

As 2013 approached, I set aside a few hours to think about goals and hopes for the year. I've never been much of a resolution maker. It seems so cliche and so bound to fail. I do like the idea of goal setting though. It's just not typically a new year thing for me. In church Sunday the concept of having a theme or verse for the year came up though. I thought that was something I could maybe get on board with. Something that could serve as a lens to see the year through. And then I remembered a story from the Christmas sermon in Michigan that had been sort of replaying in my mind since I heard it. It was one of those moments where you feel like he has totally crept into your thoughts and wrote a public response. Creepy and wonderful. And I knew instantly that story held my theme and I knew instantly a verse that really needs to be perma-stamped on my heart and mind. 

Isn't it funny how my church worlds, which I love equally, but are so different I'm sometimes nervous to introduce them to one another, work together for me. That's unity and liberty in action. God is in the center of both places and he somehow - while managing all the hundreds of others milling about - notices me and tells me what I need to hear.

And that's the beauty of mystery. I have no idea how it all works. I have no idea how I'm so confident God is in both places and I need to be in both places sometimes. It's been good for me to learn to live in the tension of loving both places, being blessed by both, needing both to find myself better connected. I'm finding myself fiercely grateful for the beautiful mystery of it all. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Yay! You're leaving me a message! I love it when my rambling becomes a conversation. THANKS! :)