over the past three days i have had two similar conversations with different people concerning the progress of their faith. both of these individuals where raise in very religious households and early on they were very certain about life and everything involved within it. they both then said almost word for word that as they grew up they became a great deal more uncertain about things and started pulling out of their perspective churches because their uncertainty didn’t fit that well within the “rock solid” knowledge of their church.
this is strange for me for because my faith has gone through the opposite journey. i became serious with my faith in my senior year of high school. as a teen i was certain that all the answers were easily found if you just found someone who could lead you in the right bible study. looking back at myself and being honest i need to say that i was probably obnoxious in my certainty. the longer i have lived in faith the more i have realized how little i know. i’ve realized that i’m no longer certain of the little things. there are now just a few things that i am absolutely convinced of, though interestingly enough my certainty on those things is greater than ever. i am more convinced than ever before that GOD loves us, that the purpose of life is to live within and with HIM, and that HE was and is willing to do everything HE can do to make sure that anyone who wants to is able to live within and with HIM. i am as sure of those things as i am that the sun will rise tomorrow or that the packers are the nfl team that everyone should pull for.
i’m not as sure concerning many of the smaller things within life. things that i used to be extremely dogmatic about are just not that important to me anymore. most of that change has happened because of a growth within my faith rather than in spite of it. as i, and for that matter pam also, have grown in our love for JESUS, and been pushed to live out our faith in a world that we now believe is filled with mystery, we have recognized more things that we just don’t know the answers for. that mystery actually encourages our faith rather than discouraging it. we believe the mysteries we see and experience and the uncertainties that often come with those mysteries are from JESUS. those uncertainties require us to respond in faith and that’s what HE likes.
i am certain that i hope to be a part of birthing a church that is certain of GOD’s love & community but okay with being uncertain on other things. of course, how GOD will do that through us is still a large mystery.