There are days when I feel wholly inadequate. Like today. So, I’m drinking yet another Diet Coke and eating an inordinate amount of chocolate in the hopes that this somewhat unconventional communion food might bolster my wavering faith in myself. What do I really know anyway?
It’s times like this when I think that maybe, just maybe, it would be easier to be a fundamentalist, evangelical Christian. They’ve at least convinced themselves that they’ve got all the answers. How comforting that must be to have it all figured out. An answer for everything and for everything an answer. Now, if those answers just didn’t require that I suspend reason and rational thought, accept contradictions, behave hypocritically, and ignore scientific findings and post-modern cultural changes, I’d be all set.
So, I’m back to all my questions. Topping today’s list is: What do I really know about racism? How do we address issues of social justice as a faith community? How do we encourage self-transformation when people really dislike (I don’t like the word “hate”) change? And if we aren’t willing to look at ourselves and change, how can we expect to change the world?
I start down that road and the questions just tend to snowball… What do I do with Lent when I don’t really think people need 7 weeks of a “penitential” season? What do I do with Easter when I don’t believe in glorifying the cross? What does worship as a “theologically progressive” community look like? What does anyone really know about Jesus? When you come across people whose lives resemble Job, what do you say? How on earth do I lead a spiritual community and preach when I have so many unanswered questions?
When I was in seminary, I found that my entire understanding of God, church and religion was completely deconstructed. I found more questions than answers. It took me about 10 or more years to reconstruct my thoughts into something I was fairly clear about. Now with all the changes in the last two years, and the freedom to help mold a new spiritual community, I suddenly find that my understandings of God, church and religion are being deconstructed again… this time by me. What do I really know about what I think I know?? It is a thoroughly uncomfortable feeling.
Thankfully there is one thing that never changes – love. The undeterred, unconditional love of God has always been the basis of my faith and that has not changed. “God” and “love” are interchangeable. If it is of “God” it is of “love”. All the rest, the ancient rabbis would say, is commentary. So, I will start here to answer all the questions in my head. I will do what I have always done, live into the questions until I come to understanding. And, as always, I will pray to be enough for whatever is placed on my path.