Sunday, October 17, 2010

Handing over the leash

My brother is caring for a friend's dog while he is getting settled. Yesterday, when the kids and I were at my mom's house, we were sitting on the back porch. My parents have 28 acres, and Solomon comes up to us on the porch with his leash in his mouth. I said, "Solomon, you have room to run, you don't need a leash, go, RUN!!" He had been running. But he was ready for a walk.

That is what being in Christ should look like. We have this world, we have free will. We have room to run, and be free. But to be in Christ means to hand over the leash and tell God, "I am ready to walk with you, I am ready for you to lead me. I don't want to run on my own anymore. I need a companion."

Friday, October 8, 2010

The faith of a child

Matthew 18:1-4 (New International Version)

The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven
1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

This scripture has taken on a whole new meaning to me recently. I have always thought of it as meaning that we must be innocent. Now I see that it is talking about absolute trust and faith.

As children, we have absolute trust in our parents. We know that they will never ask us to do anything that is bad for us. We don't like their discipline, but as we get older, we realize that the discipline was essential to our development. Children have such trust in their parents that if a father says to his son "Jump and I will catch you." the child doesn't question his father. He knows his father would never do anything to hurt him. Do kids throw fits and disobey? Yes. No one likes discipline, no one likes to clean their room, or their mess. No child likes to go to bed or eat their vegetables, or do their homework. Does that mean parents should stop telling their children to do these things?
Children don't go search out other parents just because they think theirs are being unfair. No matter how much they threaten. They don't just say, "I think I am going to go and search for proof that you are my real parents". Children don't see their parents conceive them, or their mother give birth to them (unless you videotaped it ). I have to admit, I was the only blonde in a family of brunettes, so I did question on a few occasions if my parents were my real parents. But I never doubted their love for me. And I never felt like I needed to go search for truth.

That is how God wants us to be. He will never tell us to do something that is not good for us. He will never tell us to do something that isn't crucial for our growth. He disciplines us, but I think his form of discipline comes more in the form of natural consequences. If we do the things he tells us not to do, then we will have consequences. Sure like children, we, as Christians don't always obey, and sometimes we hate the consequences we have to endure. But like most kids, in time, and with maturity, we learn that God is not unfair. As you get older and you do something wrong, and you know your parents know, don't you sort of anticipate their discipline? I can remember the feeling.

As children completely trust their parents in all things, we should trust God in the same way.

When we were training our children to go to sleep on their own (ages 7 and 5), Angelina (age 5) said to me, "I am scared." and I said to her, "If there were anything to be scared of, I wouldn't let you stay in here. I wouldn't have you go to sleep on your own if I didnt know you were completely safe." And she took me at my word and at least for that night, quit being afraid. That is the kind of faith God wants us to have. That is what we must do to become like a child. We will be afraid sometimes, we will be uncertain, but God knows what is best for us. We just have to take him at his word.

Why I believe what I believe

In life, we have many choices. Some important, some not so much.
I just want to talk about one choice. That is the choice to either believe in God, or not to believe in him.
One side says God created the world and everything in it. The other side says that there was a big bang, then things just started evolving from that. One side says there is no life after death. The other side believes that we will live after we die. Where we will live depends on our life and our faith in God.
One side believes that life has a devine purpose, that our lives really mean something. I'm not really sure what the other side believes on this issue to be honest. But since there is no God, no life after death, then I would assume they believe life has no meaning.
This is why I believe what I believe.

1. I don't see how so much can come out of a bang. If there was nothing, how could anything just "Bang" and the universe, life, everything just start to form? Start to evolve? From nothing!!!! Life is too intelligent. I can't see how anyone can think that such intelligence could just form. That nothing created the way things are. How would we know how to show any emotions, and feeling if that hadn't been placed in our hearts?

2. I believe in life after death because I can't bear to get through this life, the suffering, the pain, the struggles not knowing that I have something to look forward to when my time here is done. I can't accept my blessings, my joys, my triumphs without knowing that someone has blessed me with them. Also, if you have ever had a pack of diapers fly half way across your living room with no one you can see putting the force into it, you would have no choice but to believe in ghosts, therefore life after death.

3. I believe life has a devine purpose and meaning simply because if it didn't...what is the point?

4. I choose to believe because bottom line...It is a choice. If I have a choice between believing in something that gives me hope, something that promises me a future, something that promises me love, forgiveness and mercy, something that promises me that I will be rewarded for my life on this earth, for choosing obedience and faith, and believing that everything here on this earth has no purpose, no meaning, no future, no hope? Seems like a simple choice to me.

Although I do not believe this at all. I have full confidence of my future. If when I die, everything I have put my complete faith and hope in turns out to be nothing more than a fable, not true at all, what do I have to lose? I will die, and simply cease to exist. But if someone who chooses to believe that there is no one who created us, no God, no Christ, no real purpose in life, and at the end of their life, they come face to face with the God who created them, who gave them life, who wanted nothing but good for their life and loved them so much, they have to, for all eternity live with their choice.

I don't choose out of fear. I don't choose God because I would rather be safe than sorry. I choose because it seems like a no brainer to me.