Everyone wishes for something more. People try to find value in things they do, things they buy, even by living a “moral” life. Debates rage about ethics and morality and how each should be lived out.
It’s as if the whole human race knows there’s more to existence then existing.
Sorry if this post has started off too sporadic for you. I’ve been processing a lot in these last few months. I haven’t posted anything because I couldn’t find the words. The most I could do was share some of my thoughts orally with my family, girlfriend, youth group, and peers (I tend to process when I talk). I tried putting my thoughts and emotions into words in the form of a song, but it simply didn’t sound right. I wrote a journal entry on my thoughts a couple weeks ago, but I only reached two pages before I had to conclude.
In a huge way I’ve been rendered speechless about much of what I believe. The thoughts I can share are all still being processed, and none of them have arrived to where I could call them “something I believe.”
Suddenly I find myself able to write on this international flight at 10:30pm Boise time (who knows what time it is where I’m at) while listening to Shawn McDonald and digesting two cokes and airline pasta.
I won’t be able to post this until I land, and possibly not even until I’m within wifi range at a hotel. Nonetheless, I’m here now, writing.
I’ve been reading Rob Bell’s “Velvet Elvis” for the last several weeks. A couple major thoughts from this book (which I’m hoping to finish in these remaining 7 hours or so I have on the flight.) :
Why are Christians so afraid of having their faith challenged?
What if church isn’t necessary? What if God is Love, and because of that he has no room for judgmental hate in his heart? What if the disciples were teenagers? What if God really doesn’t care about what you do? What if the character of God can be found outside of the Bible?
Are you fearful of any of the answers to those questions? Will it destroy your faith if the actual truth is not at all what you think? Will it destroy your faith to simply ask these, or other questions?
I was really challenged by Velvet Elvis. Bell introduces a concept of “Brickeology” where so many Christians’ beliefs are stacked up into a wall. Each brick (belief) is dependent on the others; if one brick is removed, even if only to be examined, the whole wall will collapse. Not only that, but extending the metaphor out a bit, a brick wall is closed. People are either on one side of a brick wall or the other. So many Christians build themselves into a fortress of beliefs and “truths” and, as a result, shut everyone else out that doesn’t hold those same beliefs.
Bell suggests a possibly more valuable metaphor to examine one’s “belief system.” A trampoline. A trampoline is held together by springs. Each spring can be taken off, stretched, twisted, and carefully examined. Springs can be traded for other springs, and those, in turn, can be examined. Drawing this metaphor out, a trampoline is fun to jump on! People can join in on the experience; in fact, the more the merrier!
Being able to take each of my beliefs and examine them is a true faith builder. I have to have faith in God and trust in Jesus that truth (which, coincidently, he once called himself) fears no investigation.
This is part of growing up, isn’t it? Haha. Probably.
I’ve been listening to some Mark Driscol sermons from the Mars Hill Everything Audio podcast. Driscol makes some excellent points, backs them up with scripture, and even has personal testimonies to back up his messages. The only problem I have with the stuff he says is this: he’s kind of a dick. Not that I don’t like being challenged – I think I just established I’m looking to challenge pretty much everything I believe.
Let’s put it this way: if I were a non-christian and went to Driscol’s Mars Hill for the first time, and I heard Driscol say anything to the extent of “Anybody in here that is a non-christian is going to hell for all of eternity if they don’t give their life to Jesus.” (which he says on a fairly regular basis) it would be an automatic buzzkill and make me really cold to Christianity, even Jesus. Not that Mark Driscol isn’t speaking the truth; he very well may be. But come on dude, at least use some tact.
I’ve been listening to the God Journey podcast. I really appreciate the realness of Wayne Jacobsen and Brad Cummings. They ask the hard questions, and I love processing what they have to say.
I started off this post by talking about people in general, and how they’re looking for something more. Maybe it’s a bit unfair for me to speak on behalf of the whole human race. Perhaps a better way to put it goes something like this.
I know there’s more to existence than existing.
I know there’s more to God than Church.
I know there’s more to Jesus than believing.
I know there’s more to the Holy Spirit than cheap party tricks.
There’s got to be.
Like I mentioned earlier, I’m on the way to Israel. I’m going with a group of friends (Sara, Shalom, Hannah, Bart Hinckley, and my mom and dad.) This is my third visit to the Holy Land.
And this time, I’m approaching the whole deal with a new pair of glasses on.
2009 birthed more pain then I would have ever thought possible for my family. January and February of 2010 have proven to be months of intense processing and thinking; but on way more of a heart level then a head level.
I have no clue.
I do know that for the next 10 days I’ll be in Israel, and I’ll be there 100%. I’m open to whatever Papa’s got going.
Please pray for my team, and for this trip. Please don’t pray for safety. Please pray for Papa’s love to be revealed to us in a deeper way, and that it would fill us up and even overflow. Too often I’ve stayed safe on a trip, and little else took place. I know it’s a weird request, but I ask it nonetheless.
And now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to watch Flight of the Concords on the TV screen embedded in the seat in front of me.