I was having a conversation the other day and I was told that my views on "religion" were "black and white." Well, I kind of agree. You have to stand for something or you'll fall for anything. I have a hard time calling it religion though. Such a cold word. I really don't know what to call it. Faith? Relationship with God? The older I get, the more people I encounter who do not share my views on "religion." Probably 80% of the people I have gotten to know recently have different views on God. Surprise, surprise, right? But that's okay. It's taken me nearly 30 years to figure out that the world is bigger than Savannah, Georgia. It kind of hurts to type that.
I have such a hard time expressing to people why I believe what the Bible says. I understand that many stories from the Bible sound far fetched and out of touch with today's reality. I get it. We don't see many burning bushes or parting seas, or seas turning to blood for that matter, or water to wine or women turning to pillars of salt. Its weird...I understand. The creation story sounds fictional. But I choose to believe because of the feeling of peace I have come to know and the way the Bible feeds my soul. The more I learn, the more it all makes sense.
It was about 10 years ago when I started wanting to learn more about God's nature and his character on my own, not because I had to for school or any other kind of obligation. It was then that it started clicking for me. One of my favorite authors, Francine Rivers, explained it best. She wrote: "I started to crave the Word of God...it was like food and clean, clean water..." Yep. That's pretty much how I felt. I couldn't get enough. Again, as she says, "It filled the emptiness inside me, it renewed me. It opened my eyes & ears & mind & heart & filled me with joy." And that's why I talk about it. Its hard not to share when you can pin point the root of all good things.
The only other way I can think to describe it all is back to my trusty old friend, C.S. Lewis. He says:
" I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun- not because I can see it, but by it I can see everything else."
Its the joy in the faces of my students, proudly belting out their off key performances of Adele & Katy Perry songs for a captivated audience at the last PTA meeting of the year.
Its the way one selfless little boy wins a prize at the end of math group for doing the best work and wants to give it away to the struggling little girl who hasn't yet earned a prize.
Its hearing the words "I missed you today," for no particular reason on a typical Wednesday night.
Its opening my old journals of favorite verses and having the familiar words speak comfort to my soul.
Its the feeling of understanding and being understood.
Its dogs smelling good like apples.
Its love and joy. Its peace and patience. Its kindness and goodness. Its faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.