“It’s not tradition verses new, but about the foundation of your faith.”
The authoritative voice of the seasoned preacher declared and I scrambled to get a pen. Underneath the quote, I scribbled, “Then, God what is the foundation?”
If it’s not an old generation verse a new generation, then what is it?
If it’s not the conservatives verse the “liberals”, then what is it?
If it’s not denomination verse denomination, then what is it?
My eyes turned back to the preacher who had continued on and as if responding to me in dialogue and replied, “It’s Jesus. Jesus is our foundation.”
The past few years have been a journey full of questions and wonderment that I hadn’t anticipated. I was seeing God in unexpected places and then not feeling Him in places that I thought I should.
Up until then, I had been satisfied with the pretty picket fences I had built around my box-shaped house where I kept God. In there, He was safe, secure and controlled. If I do this, then God does that. Ignorantly, I participated in this manipulative game thinking I could force God’s hand if I just did all the right things. There I knew what to expect out of Him and that was a comforting feeling.
It looked like faith and even felt like faith.
But God isn’t tame.
He’s wild and that scares the hell out of me. Like the wind, I can’t anticipate where He’s coming from and I only know where He’s been because I’ve seen the effects of Him having been there. It seems like the only way to survive it…or Him rather…is to just go with it. But “going with the flow” leaves so many unanswered questions.
Yes, questions. My many, many questions. Questions that most of the time I’m afraid to admit to myself, let alone anyone else, because it seems “wrong” to question God. Not that I think God is insecure, that’s laughable, but because Christians can be when it comes to Him. Yet, there in my head and in my heart the questions beg me to wrestle and some days it feels like they’ve got me pinned.
Each day, I keep wrestling.
In the wrestling, some traditions (or traditional thought) that once seemed non-negotiable, now seem less important. These traditions have become, without me knowing it, idols in my life and God has begun dismantling them. My eyes have been set on them instead of Jesus, so as they fall and crumble, I have this feeling like my world is falling and crumbling around me.
Like the words from this old chorus* I begin to realize: “all the things I once held dear, built my life upon, all this world reveres and wants to own, all I once thought gain, I have counted loss, spent and worthless now, compared to this…knowing You Jesus.” For some of us, Christianity has been our world system and our pet beliefs have been our badge of honor and the things we fight for. Sadly, knowing and pursuing Jesus has taken some lesser priority or forgotten all together.
Our beliefs about Jesus should never overshadow simply knowing Him.
So, white picket fences and boxes meant to contain God may be leveled to the ground, but my Foundation remains. Jesus remains. There will be a rebuilding that takes place, but it will never look like it did before. Actually, I’m not sure what it will look like. I’m just going to continue pursuing Jesus knowing He’ll take care of me in the process.
Remember, there is only one foundation, the one already laid: Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11
* All I Once Held Dear (Knowing You) by Graham Kendrick