Can I begin by saying that I spent time considering whether or not I should use that second comma in the title? It probably seems like an insignificant detail, but I really thought about it. Words, sentences, pauses, stories: I’ve been taking them all in with such intention lately. When people speak, instead of waiting my turn to talk, I listen. I lean in. I want to hear their words and decipher the meanings. I don’t want to miss what’s happening in their lives because of all the mess happening in my own brain.
This detail-oriented way to approaching life has been exciting and confusing. My mind can’t relax at times because I won’t stop making sure that I understand. The need to understand is difficult when so many important topics are brought to my attention. Some people – I thought that I was one of them for a long time – are okay with not understanding. But my tears over election and the souls of people I love have proven otherwise. The last 7 months have been a journey of sorts in knowing what I believe, why I believe it, and how it affects my life. This is not the time to get into the details of what I have learned about theology or the nature of God. This isn’t the time to talk about the community that I’ve joined in beginning to understand my faith and my God in a new way. This isn’t the time to try to teach you about these things because I’m only beginning to understand them myself. This is the time, however, to say that it matters.
What you believe and why you believe it matters. For the last 363 days I have been responsible for caring for two tiny people. Those little, beautiful babies are going to look to me for guidance. I am entrusted with teaching them the ways of the Lord. I’m not completely sure, but that is part of what has projected me onto this journey of theology and understanding – really understanding – the Word of God. (Although this is a big part of my why, it’s not the only one).
I’m still learning. I don’t think that I’ll ever stop learning, but I do think that I will have clarity and peace. Sparked by one line in the Christmas story that I’ve heard and read hundreds of times in my life, Christ has given me peace. He’s given me peace with a difficult question. It shook me in an unexpected way, but I’m thankful for how he has shaken me up and is shaping me up.
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!” -Luke 2:14 (HCSB)
What are some verses that God has used to shake you up or shape you up?