My English 226 teacher asked us a difficult question yesterday. We’re discussing the puritan worldview, and how the New World was seen subjectively by each new group of religious settlements, and he casually mentioned: Nowadays we have everything. We’re living longer and have more and are better taken care of, and yet we don’t believe in anything.
I was shocked. At first. Of course we all believe in something, right? I know I do. My belief and my convictions determine the way I live! But what he was saying made sense. We’re so caught up in all of our stuff-iPhones, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Facebook, status… that it seems superficial to believe in something. We have everything, so why do we need to trust a God that is all about providing what we need?
I kept thinking, and realized that this thought applied primarily to Western civilizations. Not everyone has plenty. In fact, we take mission trips to countries filled with people that have little or nothing, yet are happier and more spiritually content than we are. Why is that?
Because they have less distractions. Yes, their lives are filled with difficult labor and long hours, and often they don’t have enough food to provide for their families, and they sure don’t have checking or savings accounts where they can put money aside to prepare for the future. But in their hard work and simplistic lifestyle, they find joy and trust God to take care of them.
I feel like we so easily push God away. We’ve all heard that it’s easiest to pray when we’re in trouble or need God for something. That’s true, but how often nowadays do we find ourselves turning to God immediately if something bad happens? Usually, we call 911 first, then enter a hectic frenzy of medical personnel, hospital bills, and schedule mayhem. There’s no time for God in that, is there?
The truth is: God is always there. Whether we see him or not, whether we feel His divine purpose or not.
I had to read a book for my New Testament class today that infuriated me. It said that we can’t take the Bible literally, that it isn’t the Word of God. The author states that the Bible is completely of human origin, because either we see the Bible as all God’s word, a mixture of both God and human origin (which he said would confuse things to much), or as completely human origin. He states: “Thus the lens that I am advocating does not see the Bible as a whole as divine in origin, or some parts as divine and some as human. It is all a human product, though generated in response to God. As such, it contains ancient Israel’s perceptions and misperceptions of what life with God involves, just as it contains the early Christian movement’s perceptions and misperceptions” (Borg 27).
It hurts me to read things like that, because the author isn’t encouraging that we look at the Bible as divinely inspired, or authored by God through people. There are so many legalistic conversations that come out of topics like this, but I don’t understand why we can’t just see God as our Creator, perfect in all of His ways, loving yet fair, and as the One who has a plan for our life, for each and every one of us.
He created us all with a purpose, and I don’t know if or why that purpose would be to question Him and all of His ways. We spend so much of our time trying to figure out if something is politically correct or not, while we could be dropping by homes of the elderly in our communities and sharing the love of Christ with them, or sending notes of encouragement to other students on our campus, without thought of how right or wrong our language is.
As Christians, we know that much of the world disagrees with our motives and our ideals. So what? God said that life would not get easier if we became Christians, but it would become more fulfilling. Having a purpose in life is necessary for our survival. I know that my purpose in life is to use words to share thought and encouragement with others.
I think it’s time that every Christian found his or hers, and did the best with what they had. Faith in God is necessary for everyday life, as well as for the entire world.
We need to share God’s love across the globe, but it needs to start within our hearts. If we don’t see God as Almighty Creator, then how can we describe Him as such to others?
Wow, okay, this post was heavy in a lot of ways and topics, but I’m just trying to convey what I’m learning and what God is teaching me to you in a way that makes hopefully at least a little sense.
God is complex, yes, but He is also so simple. He says that if we become like children, then the kingdom of God will prosper. That means having faith and believing Him to provide for us every day of our lives.
So put aside responsibilities for now. Make yourself a cup of coffee and dig into God’s Word a little more today. Take your Bible and open it to some random spot and just read a few chapters. Try memorizing a little bit of it and then carry that through your day. Not only will the words remain in your memory, but you’ll also have a picture in your mind of when you sat down and just read the Bible that one rainy afternoon. I still remember whenI memorized several Psalms this summer while I was traveling. I recited Psalms 91 while walking to the store at my grandparents house in Germany. Memories like that, tinged with scripture, always bring a smile to my face.
Life is better with God.
Thanks for reading♥