A couple weeks ago, my wife and I (and Walter the Dog) went to meet up with some of our DC friends in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Attempting to be a good husband, I did most of the driving. (Walter didn’t do jack.)
It was a beautiful time to be in Tennessee. The leaves were changing, the skies were blue, and it wasn’t freezing cold. I love the mountains and the big chunks of rock that you get to drive right by in Tennessee. I understand why people live there.
We don’t have mountains in Florida so I was doing my best to take in the beautiful scenery while staying on the road at the same time. It’s hard to do. You have to use your peripheral vision and maybe get a glance or two every now and then. You’re seeing these beautiful sites one quick look at a time.
It seems that the older I get, the more my faith in God changes. It’s not that I love him any less, or that I even believe any less. It’s just that my faith isn’t identical to what it was twenty years ago. Or ten years ago. Or even one year ago.
When I was a kid, I knew God was big and that he loved me. I knew that the Bible was infallible and had an answer for every question life could throw at us. The biggest question I had was why God wasn’t healing me on the spot when I would get a cold. I honestly cherish those early years of my life and my faith.
My faith has since evolved from children’s church answers. My faith has battled my doubts. My faith has battled my failures. My faith still remains, but my views on God can’t exactly be given as an elevator pitch anymore. Our relationship is detailed.
Still, I keep searching for God, and as I search for him, he keeps finding me. It’s a beautiful game of hide-and-go-seek we play. Sometimes he counts and I hide. Sometimes he hides and I count. But somehow in each game, we find each other. Even when sometimes I think he’s found way too good of a hiding place.
For me, I think faith in God is a lot like driving through Tennessee and trying to take in the sites. You can’t completely take it all in. You see outlines and maybe a couple of shapes and colors. You get a beautiful glimpse of a glorious site far off, but you couldn’t explain what you just saw in detail. Still, you know it’s beautifully intricate and magnificent.
Paul describes this view in the most famous wedding scripture ever – 1 Corinthians 13.
“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.”
We will never be able to fully put our eyes on the wholeness of God in this life. We’d be annihilated. The Bible says that Moses got to see merely “the back of God” and his face was shining so brightly afterward that they put an actual bag over his head. The glory and the complexity of God is too much for a human mind and body to take in. As for now, we get to have one or two second drive-by glances.
Does God confuse you?
Do you read the Bible and put it down and say, “What the heck did I just read?”
And it’s all right. God isn’t asking us to understand him. He’s inviting us to love him. He’s rounding up the neighborhood for an awesome game of hide-and-go-seek. Come join the search.