This morning in Church (which Lindsay and I are now members of!), we sang a hymn that I had never heard before and a few lines in particular resonated with me and I want to share with you. The hymn is called “When Our Confidence Is Shaken.” It goes as follows:
1 When our confidence is shaken in beliefs we thought secure, when the spirit in its sickness seeks but cannot find a cure, God is active in the tensions of a faith not yet mature.
2 Solar systems, void of meaning, freeze the spirit into stone; always our researches lead us to the ultimate unknown. Faith must die, or come full circle to its source in God alone.
3 In the discipline of praying, when it’s hardest to believe; in the drudgery of caring, when it’s not enough to grieve; faith, maturing, learns acceptance of the insights we receive.
4 God is love, and thus redeems us in the Christ we crucify; this is God’s eternal answer to the world’s eternal why. May we in this faith maturing be content to live an die!
I especially love the first verse, “God is active in the tensions of a faith not yet mature.” I have often written about my own hubris (something I am not proud of, merely aware of) and in this case I find this condition alive again. I looked back through my few blogs on this page and noticed the second blog was also called “Tension” and in that entry, I spoke about the same sort of things that resonated with me again today. I love the idea that my faith is “not yet mature.” This is such common sense, that we don’t know it all; however, for me it was a beautiful time to be reminded that I really don’t know it all and that my faith is still changing and (hopefully) growing.
The other part of that line that I love so much is the idea of “tension” that we are a part of. Just saying the word “tension” can make me think of discomfort or at the least, it does not always have a positive connotation. I think the Pastor at our Church today talked about this in a way. He spoke about not having to be “either-or” when it comes to matters of science and religion. There is certainly a tension in this subject (think no further than creationism and evolution) but he explained he thinks exploring these questions is alright and even healthy.
I agree with him. I think allowing ourselves to be engaged in the daily tension we live in, between the world we are in but not really belonging to, is a healthy thing.
I also think this can be dangerous. I was reading from the great words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and think he struggled with the same ideologies I am talking about. Bonhoeffer talks about how there is a tension that we are a part of yet some choose to ignore it. He then goes on to talk about how it is permissible to engage in this, but at the end of the day we must be wholly committed to our faith. While we are certainly part of a tensional world and it is alright to engage in those questions, ultimately we are called to whole-heartedly give ourselves to following God.
As the Pastor today pointed out, this does not mean that we need to not whole-heartedly question matters in this world (as I have over-stated, we live in tension). What do we have to be scared of? If we really believe that everything came from God and that He is responsible for all absolute truth, why would we ever be afraid of searching for answers, isn’t he the absolute truth. Now I think this is where it starts getting less clear, since looking for absolute truth by worldly means may produce “truths” but not absolute truth. I think the point of what the Pastor was trying to say is that at the beginning of everything was and is God. If we truly and unbiasedly look for the beginning, there will be God.
I think normally at the end of these entries, there is some end paragraph that wraps up what I was thinking and brings it whole circle. I am not sure I have that for this. I think this entry is more just thoughts and part of my “maturing faith.”
I really did start this Blog with the hopes that it would be interactive. If you have a thought, see a flaw in logic or have any general remarks, please let me know. I really write these not to just share, but to start conversation.
I will leave you with this:
“The will of God is not a system of rules which is established from the outset: it is something new and different in each situation in life, and for this reason a person must ever anew examine what the will of God may be.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer