from certainty to sweet, freeing uncertainty

Posted: October 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

When I was younger, I was filled with strong, certain opinions about the ways that other people lived – I suspect this is true for many of us.  Many – MOST – of those opinions were based primarily on how familiar their behavior was, as compared to my own experience.  Things that seemed “weird” to me were mostly “wrong” to me, or at least suspect, because they made me uncomfortable. 

Growing up a little more meant a more thoughtful evaluation, but still – when one is from a small town/rural area, it is easy to presume that since “most of us” (meaning people within my circle) are mostly the same, then those who are different must be at least misled or strange, and at worst bad or outright evil.

When my faith finally started to truly inform my choices, there was a pretty hard swing.  Up until this point, there were some – a lot of – “shoulds” in my vocabulary.  But now those “shoulds” and many other new “shoulds” were suddenly much more important in my mind.  My kids got a lot of speeches from me as we observed the world around us together – what could be more important than instilling the right values in them, after all…right?

My ideas were pretty rigid.  I was drawn to rigid teachers and rigid rules.  It felt safer, sticking to absolutes wherever possible.  While my failure to meet those absolute standards was discouraging, at least I knew where the lines were.  A God who dictated lots of specifics was smaller and easier to understand than a God who might expect me to work it out with Him, one-to-one…and who might even work it out differently with my neighbor than He had with me.  For awhile, at least, rigidity felt like safety.

But over the years, I have felt slowly and surely challenged to re-examine my certainty that I could unequivocally state what God wants from us in many instances.  In many a case, my old certainty has left me.  In a few cases, I have “switched sides” completely.  But mostly I have gone quiet. 

The less i talk, the more I can really LISTEN to all sides of the conversation.

The less energy I expend in trying to formulate a “biblical” argument, the more energy I have left available to open my understanding to different perspectives from/on the Bible. 

The less I focus on trying to get it all own perfectly, the more I discover open spaces of blessed freedom.

And along the way, the more freedom I find, the less I am inclined to need to defend or explain my freedom to others who are not seeking to know, but only want to win an argument. 

Freedom is a beautiful place to live.


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