I Sang in Church this Morning

Finding My Faith

I Want to Believe
These are some questions I have on my mind lately. With a string of careers and marriages trailing behind me as evidence of taking the scenic route to this point in my life.
I sang in church this morning and that means more than you think. I feel closer to God than I have in years, and the joy of rekindling that spiritual relationship rose from my throat this morning during the worship service.
This marks a third major era in one way of dividing my life into chunks; a third chapter in the story of a prodigal son in which I play the main character. My parents took me to our Baptist church every Sunday and most Wednesdays. Church was a part of our family life, simple as that, and it shaped who I am today. I forged wonderful friendships with my peers in church and learned much from older leaders in the congregation.
For some reason, I decided that life wasn’t for me and I embarked on the second chapter in my life. I began wandering away from God during my freshman year of college. I felt guilty about skipping chapel on Sundays in the beginning, but I was a grownup! I didn’t live my life by the church bell. Eventually, the guilt faded and I began to live my life without God on my mind.
I started to say “without God in my life” or “live my life alone,” but I know God was always with me, whether it was in the prayers of those who love me or just God watching over me. I look back and know He was there making sure the stupid chances I took didn’t kill me. I believe He has great things in store for me, and I’m excited about the opportunities for service.

Questions of Faith

Some religious concepts still furrow my brow. If God knows all, then our lives are predetermined and we are just characters on a stage reading from a script. If we truly have free will, how could God be all-knowing?
I’m not the first to struggle with these ideas and won’t be the last. Philosophers, scientists, and men of faith have been talking about these enigmas for thousands of years and will continue to do so. Here’s the thing. Individuals must reach these conclusions for themselves, assuming they have the free will to reach any conclusion on their own.
Faith must be the key. Having faith is as easy as breathing for some and I wish it was that simple for me. Evidence that God exists is abundant in the beautiful complexities of nature and the universe. My struggle is with the juxtaposition of man’s choices with God’s omniscience I perceive in the Bible.
John 3:16 says those who choose to believe will have everlasting life, while Romans 8:30 talks about the “predestined” and uses past tense to describe those God called, justified, and glorified.
Free will versus Determinism.
The simplicity of faith comes from releasing those concerns and living without answers to those philosophical questions. Indeed, that is the definition of faith.

faith |fāθ| noun — 1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something 2. strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof

And that brings me to the third chapter in my life; the one where I let go of those worldly questions and live a simple life of faith.