What I Believe (inspired by otter creek church’s vespers)

Some mornings (and late nights, and dinner times, and during my favorite part of my favorite television show) I wonder why the hell Carrie and I live where we do. Home for us isn’t what it was growing up. Home is where you went when your world didn’t make sense, where you could close the door and shut out the world, the problems, the sadness, the worry. Home was where you went to get a big hug from mom, or sit in dad’s lap watching tv after dinner, or where you could retire to your room to talk on the phone with friends. Home was safe. Home was secure.

Some mornings (et al) I wish we didn’t live where we live, or believe what we believe. Sometimes, even when I’m acting like I believe it, I’m not quite sure that I do. But then again, what does belief mean besides orienting your life around what you understand to be true. Maybe I’m still to caught up in the idea that belief is just mental assent to certain principles… and that one can be unwavering in their belief (most likely because my beliefs didn’t used to affect how I lived my life).

Some mornings, I wonder if I’m crazy. I know for a fact that if the 25 year old Justin ran into the 18 year old Justin, the elder would be outright rejected by the younger for being insane. “Non violent resistance, huh? The world just doesn’t work like that”. Or “Of course you have to support ‘our’ armies, what are you some sort of anti American liberal” or even “You wanna live there and NOT own a gun? What happens if someone breaks in and kills you and rapes your wife?”. And the 25 year old could answer those questions, but they are never going to satisfy the 18 year old. Cause sometimes those answers still don’t satisfy me now, absent any theoreticals.

“For the Cross of Christ is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God”

Paul penned those words some 1900+ years ago. I think I get it now. If you get serious about following Jesus, not only will the world think you are crazy, but even you yourself might. Its not logical to lay down your life. Its not logical to give not just from your plenty but from your poverty. Its not logical to practice hospitality to those you don’t even know, must less have a reason to trust. Its not logical to move to the inner city, to break bread with felons and give rides to known prostitutes (the police will follow you, trust me on that one).

All this to say, my life is completely nuts. Sometimes I wonder what we’re doing, whether I really believe what I think I believe. I tend to go with yes, but only because Carrie and I have done some things that I just don’t think would have been possible without the Spirit guiding us. But that doesn’t mean that we’re 100% crazy for Jesus all the time. I used to think it was supposed to be that way, but now I’m finding that faith isn’t being juiced up on a spiritual sugar high. Faith is living out your calling even when you’re tired, weary, when things don’t make sense, and when you can’t stop thinking about how comfortable living in a false security was.

God bless spirit infused faith.


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