So much of who we are is largely unanswerable. Who am I? What am I here for? When will I know? Where am I going? Why? (oh, the Why’s). Because of the frequency and occasional severity of these questions (and their seeming lack of answers), much of who we are and where our lives lead us is based entirely upon faith. Not necessarily Faith in God, but just faith, in general. Faith that I am strong enough, faith that I am here for a purpose, faith that I am making the right decision. There are very few things we can know with certainty; there are plenty of things that leave us wondering.
Depending on your personality type, your upbringing, and who you are as a person (in general), you are going to process these things of life differently than the person you sit next to. Some resort immediately to distraction, others to fast, shallow answers, and some are satisfied with never having asked at all. There are still others – and I include myself in this group – who spend much of their lives forming questions. Those cliché 5W’s are cliché because people like us made them cliché. Gosh, it’s exhausting. But, tiresome or not, it’s all I know how to do. I can’t settle myself on complacency of mind; if there is a question to be asked my brain will most likely form it and throw it up to the heavens before the rest of me knows what’s going on. And I'll stay with that question, for a little while anyways. Even if I know it’s unanswerable. Even if I know it’s not a “good” question, not a “holy” question, not a “wonderful example to the believers” question.
Because, truth be told: I am a faulted human, too.
Why do I write these things? Because I am afraid, I think, of what’s coming. And it worries me that I am afraid.
I suppose I am wondering what it looks like to Follow, when it’s obvious that people are watching. Is humanity accepted or shunned? Are mistakes forgiven or put on display? What kind of standard am I putting on my weak shoulders?
I want/feel the need to assure you of a few things. One: I know that He who called me is Faithful, Two: I know He has me here for a purpose. Three: despite what it might seem, I do have moments of clarity that remind me of these things. And finally, there are moments when I really am not asking this many questions (ha!).
If you are in my community, you know in many ways what God has asked of me this year. The irony is, however, that I feel largely unequipped. Perhaps you know the feeling? I am not good enough or talented enough or brave enough to do all that He’s asked of me. As I wade deeper and deeper into this transition, I find that I am fighting off whisperings of inadequacy by the minute, realizing more and more how odd it is that He would call someone with so many cracks to assist in leading the whole; that he would ask the quietest voice in the room to speak louder.
“But, I’m still a sinner” I fret, to the Unfrettable. “Look at my hands,” I say, “they are filthy.”
The truth is, dear friends, that I still ask some of the very same questions I mentioned at the beginning, even though I know the Who, the Why, the Where and the What For. I know Him, but not enough; I hear him, but I don’t always listen; I walk His way…mostly.
The truth is, I am still not perfect (ouch, that hurts to admit). But what is more true than that is the One who is perfect has called me to work alongside of Him. He asks even me to contribute to His world, which is something I find entirely strange.
What is the point in all of this?, you may ask. Good question.
I don’t really know.
A dear friend of mine was recently instructed (as a leader in a churchy setting) not to ask her doubt-filled questions in such a public forum (her blog). Maybe I should have held back as well? Am I a bad example, am I confusing others, am I being inappropriate? Maybe I should only post things when I am in a good mood, and when I am certain of the things I am certain of. Maybe I should wait until my heart stops beating anxiously at the thought of all my frailties. Maybe I should wait until all my Questions have been answered? Maybe.
But maybe instead of pretending to be where I’m not, I’ll do my best to continue being honest with where I really am. Not seeking vulnerability above all else, like most of our generation (that’s another post entirely). But rather, seeking to be genuine in my faith and love for the One who IS Love. I don’t want to walk this earth in complicated silence, I want to walk it with the certainty that despite my many (many, many) faults, I am not lost. I am not beyond hope. I am still worth saving. Because if I am not lost, that means, dear friend, neither are you.