I recently read a note written by a young man who left his cozy church family and went out into the big wide world. There he has discovered many other views about spirituality. Now he realizes he was “narrow-minded” when he lived here, and he has thrown out his small-town views of God.
I once went into the big wide world.
Except I traveled and saw new spiritual ideas from a chair in a university where I took a philosophy class. For an entire semester this little Southern Baptist girl was assaulted with other ideas about life and gods and no gods at all –other ideas about how I got here and where I might be going or not going when my life is over.
I saw how narrow my thoughts of God had been when I was growing up. There were so many other ways to look at life.
You know how you’re just standing there and somebody comes up behind you and pokes their fingers behind your knees –and your legs buckle? That was me.
Philosophy poked, and my spirit buckled and almost fell in that class.
Except that I didn’t like any of my other choices of what or who to believe in, so I decided I would stick with the God of the Israelites. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, even though I felt a little shaky in my faith.
Twenty years later I still walk with this God.
Now I look at this young man’s long paragraph of new-found philosophy of life, and I think, Son, you could no more convince that my God is not the true and only God than you could convince me that Matthew is not my husband.
Because God isn’t my philosophy anymore. He’s my companion. He’s the only one who is awake to talk to me when I have insomnia. He’s the only one who answers my prayers in no-coincidence detail day after day. He’s the one who literally infuses me with strength when I don’t have one drop left of my own. He’s the one who has mended many a broken relationship in my life. He’s the one who makes money show up when we most desperately need it. He’s the one who shines new mercy on me every morning. He’s the one who is sandpapering the sharp edges off my personality and making me a new person.
I went to a wedding this weekend. Heard my preacher husband say, I now pronounce you…
Knowing God is a You may kiss the bride! kind of relationship. It’s no hollow philosophy that can be crumpled up and thrown in the dumpster.
Knowing God is the smile that comes across the face of the new bride when she thinks of her man.
There are so many lies out there, my friends. So many lies and false religions. Deception comes from many directions.
Please love God so that people can see He’s more than one idea in a sea of philosophy. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV) Spend many hours with Him, talking about everything. Follow Him everywhere.
Keep a narrow mind, focused only on Him.
Know your God.