Wednesday, August 27, 2014

On a Journey with God as My Internal Compass

As I travel on my life journey, I must ultimately look to God, not man.  I must also repeatedly entrust myself and every other human being to Him and remember we are all dependent upon Him.

There is One God and Father of all who is upon all and through all and in all…
The God Who makes the world and all that is in it…
[He is] inherent of heaven and earth…
He Himself gives to all life and breath and all...
for in Him we are living and moving and are...
we are His workmanship…
(Ephesians 4:6, Acts 17:24,25,28, Ephesians 2:10)

While I pursue further discovery and understanding of God, I turn toward Him and ask Him to show me the truth of who He is and the truth of His ways and realities.  I don’t want to be convinced, confused, cajoled, indoctrinated, or brain-washed by what others say about God.  I will walk my own journey.  If God is God, then He is more than capable of revealing His true nature to me and to others.  Obviously, at this time He chooses not to have us all on seeing eye to eye in how we comprehend Him or not.  I don’t completely understand why it must be this way, but I can’t do anything to change it.  I can only take responsibility for my actions and how I personally deal with that in my own life.

As for me, I have no desire left to treat God as a theological argument with others or to dissect Him like He’s a dead corpse on a metal table.  I despise heated debates about God, the Bible, or other religions or sacred writings.  I don't have to debate others and prove them wrong in order to have confidence and peace within my beliefs.  I care nothing to force my ideas or faith upon others.  I long to seek and know the real God.  While I do enjoy sharing snippets of my personal journey in face to face discussions or through my writings, I want nothing to do with forcing my faith down someone else’s throat or forcing others to travel the same path I am on. 

If you don’t like what I write and it angers you, please don’t read it.  I have no desire to irritate you or incite your wrath.  Expressing myself in writing is simply part of my journey.

If we are talking face to face and you don’t want to listen to what I am saying, please kindly speak up about it or change the subject.  I value relationships over ideas or beliefs.

If you want to engage in discussions about God or other beliefs despite our differing points of view, I ask you to truly listen to and consider what I’m saying and try to understand me.  Please be as respectful and considerate of my ideas and faith as you are of your own.  I am striving to offer the same courtesy to you. 

If your only goal in engaging in a dialogue with me is to change my mind or to “prove” to me how I am wrong and you are right, don’t bother.  This attitude says to me that you care more about forcing your beliefs/ideas upon me than you care about our relationship or the mutual sharing of ideas.  Again, I hold relationships in higher esteem.

Entering into this season of my journey where I long to walk the higher road of love and grace for all people, I have arrived at a simple and final conclusion: endless arguments, debates, or attacks will never make a positive difference in human relations or bring any peaceful understanding.

"Religion is a love affair with information. Christ came to offer a different kind of love affair, not one that revolves around information. This love revolves around life, around living and loving, and around letting go of the religious desire to be 'right' and accuse others of being 'wrong'.  This love invites us to get busy living a new way of life, where judging between right and wrong is taken out of our hands, and those judgments are tossed away, to become scattered in the dust behind us. Instead of judgment, we take hold of grace, mercy, and love fully, both for ourselves and for others, with reckless abandonment.  Religion will make you fall in love with information, but Christ will make you fall in love with life. Choose life. Let love become more than words; let it break loose and change things in your world."  (an excerpt from Mick Mooney’s book An Outsider's Guide to the Gospel)

For this next season of my life and my faith, I don't want a love affair with information, having all the answers, or dissecting God or the Bible.  Today, as I face the first day of the rest of my life, I only want a love affair with God, grace, life, and people. 

God utterly bewilders my mind.   I am continuously torn between believing in His complete sovereignty and questioning why He does not put an end to people committing atrocious acts upon other people and why He doesn't end suffering. 

What humanly spoken words can possibly comfort the parents of children who are dying from terminal illness or children who are beheaded by terrorists?  What religious clichés can possibly comfort the agony felt within the heart of such intense human suffering?

God is still my hope for all things ultimately being set right one day, but in the meantime, I have to somehow accept that we are ordained to have our differences of beliefs and faiths, and we are destined to observe and endure painful things in this earthly life.  I also have hope we are all learning something through the adversities for a greater good. 

I am not going excuse God or offer pat answers to the suffering.  There is something better offered to those who are hurting, suffering, and questioning: care, compassion, empathy, love, grace, and hope.  These beautiful gifts are not lavishly extended in superficial or meaningless words but through our actions.

Actions always speak louder than words. 

Actions reveal the truth of our hearts and our intent.

In our actions, are we helping or destroying our fellow man?  Are we positively building up or negatively tearing down?

I am full of questions, fears, and doubts, and I don’t have all the answers.  Yet because of this, I find that I can relate better with my fellow man. 

Onward I travel this journey of life and faith. 
God is my internal compass while I walk the path He has fashioned for me.  

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