I can hold my own as a philosopher, and I am convinced I am a theologian in my own right….
But, my ability to think and talk about concepts in the abstract is not the foundation of my faith.
I can engage in exegesis, and draw from my own extensive knowledge of the whole of Scripture in doing so. However, I know that this skill alone cannot make or break my relationship with God.
At the heart, my faith is so simple and so uncomplicated that anyone could grasp it. I know that Jesus loves me, and that I am created by God for the expressed purpose of knowing Him.
All of my prayers, my study, my writing…. All of it centers on this one certainty:
God knows me, within and without. And I have been called by Christ to share in the perfect relationship He has with the Father.
That’s it. That’s all there is, folks. Three decades of intense religious inquiry, and I’ve circled around to the having the same faith I had at the age of 3 years.
God is funny like that…
Here I am, 33 years old, over-educated with a fierce, well-trained intellect… And…
All I want to do is shut off my brain and just rest in the presence of my God.
My heart yearns to find everywhere He is hidden in my world, to ever hear Him speak clearly into my daily life. I would count everything I’ve learned as loss, if it would secure a deeper knowing of Him.
It is fortuitous that what I have learned and know intellectually affirms what I know and carry in my heart:
“But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.'”
Matthew 19:14 (NRSV)
It is a simple faith, the faith of a child, that holds the keys to the Kingdom.
Which is why, I believe, Paul writes this in a letter to the church of Corinth:
“Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise.”
I Corinthians 3:18 (NRSV)
I am a foolish person. All of this effort to find the God that has always been so near. My effort has taught me:
You cannot know, outside of yourself, the One that breathes life within you.
If that is the last lesson I ever learn, I will be content. For it brings me to what I most desire– Him.