Understanding

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Growing up in a church going family faith in God was never a question. The depth of faith was another question. As I matured I noticed that members of my family had drifted away from faith itself even while still attending services. Drifting away was an observation of their behavior, their lack of attendance to church on a regular basis. I suppose I observed this first around age thirteen or so. Still, they insisted I attend classes and meetings which I quickly told them I was done with as I was learning nothing.

By that stage in this certain church things were getting pretty stale and repetitive. I was hearing the same thing meeting after meeting and this had been rote since first grade. There was never any mention of the Bible. So, as I was to young to work, I asked them to get a Bible as I wanted very much to read the gospels. I wanted to get a feeling for Jesus, what He said, and what the geography He had lived in was like. Don’t ask me why I wanted this I just did for reasons I would not comprehend until much later in life.

My parents purchased a Bible and it felt like I had a key to a massive door leading into eternity. I still have that Bible as my Mother entered all the family statistics into it such as births, marriages and notes of family. It wasn’t long before I began learning the gospels and the Sermon on the Mount stood out as a monument to what Jesus was here for in the first place. Having the Bible and reading it started me on a journey that, at my age, was full of interruptions on the way. Having a Bible, I proved to everyone’s satisfaction, didn’t make me a saint or anything approaching righteous. On the contrary, it showed my faults in black and white and that is the beauty of that book.

When you understand how difficult it is to live up to those principles laid down so succinctly you come to the understanding that we are all frail and imperfect and we can say that about all of us without disparaging one or the other. Equality of imperfection is what the Bible levels at us. It is poignant and off putting until one realizes that we are all the same. Of the myriad messages of that book the one that it tries hardest to tell all of us is that there is not room for putting one another in any type of hierarchy; one over the other. We are all children of a higher power and we need to accept that and move on in humility: one to the other.

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