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walking Along

July 21, 2007

there is something to be said for spiritual community.

we are plainly communal creatures designed to live together and to help each other.

but the farther along this path i walk the more convinced i become that no matter how much we help each other, learn from each other, lean on each other, that our walk with god is an individual effort.

it has been years since god first shook my faith hard enough to rattle the bulk of my preconcieved notions loose. and that moment was itself the culmination of years and years of little hints and glimpses here and there of what might lie beyond the veil of what i had been taught and what i believed.

and when the shaking did finally come i was left feeling very naked and exposed.

for one thing i was surrounded by people–my ‘community of faith’–who all still believed things i could never again believe. i knew i had only to open my mouth to alienate myself from most of them. or keep it shut and live a lie.

or i could walk away.

i was not willing to live a lie. i was also not willing to open my mouth and cause my brothers to stumble. as i said, god took years bringing me to where i was and i fully understood what paul meant when he warned against pushing one’s own faith on someone else, for they might do by instruction what (for them) was not of faith, and so be lost.

so in the end i walked away

to search out for myself where my path should now lead me.

and for a time i was bitter. i railed at god, railed at my situation, and like a parent who has already been over this ground with her child, god patiently let me have my tempertantrum and then reached into my life and nudged me one more step down the path.

honestly, i still don’t know where this path will take me. it is narrow and winding and the woods on either side are ancient and towering, blocking all view. but light still filters down through the canopy and every now and then i meet a wayfarer crossing my road, or traveling along it and i begin to understand more and more that the destination…well, i won’t say it doesn’t matter, but it’s not the point. the point is the journey and those we meet along the way.

i see things with new eyes, and yet so very often i am still blind.

some days i long for the innocence of youth, the easy trusting way i could hang everything on my faith with absolute and utter certainty. now i find i pause a bit before hanging it all on faith, and the faith i knew as a child is not the faith i have today. some would say that makes me lost, for jesus insisted one must have the faith of a little child to come unto him.

i would argue that that was exactly the sort of faith i had when i came to him.

if anything i think it is association that has given my faith the edge it has today. i have not grown out of my faith, i think, so much as i am growing into it. i am finding it is bigger than the falsehoods i was taught when it was young and trusting.

faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.

i think too often we look on faith as something spiritual, intangible…when in fact faith does indeed have substance and does indeed provide evidence. faith is not blindly toeing the party line.

faith is experiencing god…and having something to show for it.

:: reprinted from the Archives

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2007 12:35

    Wow, excellent. Best “religious” (“spiritual”) (“God-stuff”) post I’ve seen in a very long time. And that last line… well, I’ve copied it into a Word document, printed it, and will post it somewhere where I can think about it regularly.

    Thanks.

  2. July 22, 2007 13:57

    glad you liked . . . now about those late fees ๐Ÿ˜ณ

  3. July 22, 2007 18:04

    Oh, for heaven’s sake… ๐Ÿ˜‰ Got lets in people with late fees all the time.

  4. July 22, 2007 18:05

    Got = God (Hopefully God lets in people who don’t reread before posting, too)

  5. July 22, 2007 19:23

    Gott = God in German. You’re just multilingual . . . (but still a bad spelar (you left off the extry “t”) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. July 22, 2007 19:24

    ps – i do wish WP let you “preview” comments before posting like blogger does.

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