Today's Pondering: The Benefit of My Experience

Last night, during church, the pastor said something that made me wonder if some things I’ve said in my previous posts might possibly be misconstrued.  My aim in creating this blog was to open a dialogue about how God reaches different people through different means.  The idea for this blog came to me during prayer and it would not leave me alone.  So, Leading the Follower was born.  What I don’t want is for anyone to take what I say in my posts as any indication that I am condemning anyone for their beliefs.  Yes, I’ve said that I felt it was somewhat narrow to say that there is only one way to get to God.  While this may have been offensive to some, it certainly wasn’t meant to be.  I only meant that we need to broaden our idea of where God’s love comes from and how it can reach us. 

I believe that God’s power and authority are immeasurable and that whenever man tries to interpret the meaning behind God’s word, the message will be skewed to fit the particular experience of the man (or woman) doing the interpreting.  This doesn’t have to be the product of any sort of malice, it is simply human nature to spin things based on our experience.  How else can we relate our ideas to one another but through our own lens of what is right and wrong?  Our meaning comes to us as a product of our experience.  For example, I am really  just starting my walk in Christianity.  Although I went to church as a teenager, my experience then was much different than it is today.  I consider my time in church as a teenager as nothing more than a social experiment.  I was trying to find a family that would accept me for who I was at that time.  I had no real concept of God and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  I was more concerned with how cute the Deacon’s son was and how much I enjoyed singing with the children’s choir than I was about the word of God.  I thought being good meant that I didn’t cuss or do any of the things that other kids my age were doing.  I had no idea what life was at that point because I’d had virtually no experience in it. 

Some twenty years later, re-entering the church, I have a completely different context for what I hear in the sermons.  Having gone through five miscarriages, the concept of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ carries so much more meaning now than it did before I had ever thought about being a mother.  How could it not?  It all depends on the place you are coming from.  To a teenager who had never been in a serious relationship, God’s sacrifice of His son simply didn’t register as something big.   Sure, the concept sounded important and I could understand it on a very basic level, but it wasn’t until I had a daughter of my own that I really could begin to feel and empathize with the pain of that suffering.  I could now say to God, “Break my heart for what breaks Yours,” and mean it.  I finally got it.

But this understanding didn’t all come to me through sitting in church and trying to be a Christian.  Much of my life experience and my understanding that God has in fact, been walking with me throughout my trials came through a variety of sources.  I look to many things to help me understand the path that God has chosen for me.  Not all of these things are accepted in the Christian faith as having value in terms of being a Godly person, but that really is between me and God.  He will tell me what He wants me to hear and He will help me figure it out according to His plan for me.  I have complete faith that God has guided me and will continue to guide me through all that life sends my way because it is not life that holds the power, but God.  And so, even when the decisions that lay before me seem perplexing and out of keeping with what is in the Bible, I’m listening for that still, small voice so that I can do the right thing.  Even when I’m not happy with the results, I’m following His lead and hoping against hope that my desire to be loved and accepted by others will not keep me from letting God lead me. 

At this point in my life, I truly enjoy going to church.  In spite of what I may or may not agree with, I love being there and hearing the word and trying to apply what is taught there to what I am experiencing in my life.  I feel that God wants me to be there and that He has things He wants me to learn and do both through the church and outside of the church.  I’m not always sure how to go about it, but I’m listening. 

 11And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: 12And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.~1 Kings 19:11-13 (King James Version)