Marked.

I’m crazy about the Olympics. I love them. It’s a disease really. My husband doesn’t understand it. I’m the girl who watches 5 minutes of basketball and wants to poke her eye out with a stick. The Olympics are different. There’s something incredible about watching the athletes who’ve trained for their whole lives, waiting for this moment to compete. They aren’t in it for the money. They aren’t in it for the fame. They are in it to be the best they can be and hopefully come out on top. It’s inspirational.

When the Olympics were held in Canada last year I was in heaven. X. was home from the hospital but we were on lockdown so he wouldn’t get sick. I spent my days inside inspired by the efforts of the athletes and it was a great diversion. During the opening ceremonies K.D. Lang sang a beautiful rendition of the Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah”. I bought it from itunes as soon as it was available. This evening as I was driving home from the gym the song shuffled through on my playlist in the car and I listened to it once again.  I love this song.

One of the reasons I love this song is how real it is.  It shows how joy and pain can be so closely intertwined.   It’s about questioning. It’s real. It’s raw.  It’s life.

Lately I’ve been reading books and blogs and other various things and I’ve noticed a theme that is troubling me a bit. There seems to be an idea that you must never question God.  That you must have an unwavering faith. That is makes you a solid Christian. And if I’m honest I find this a bit disturbing.

In our lives, how can we not question? There are times when we all wonder.  When we ask why things happen and for what purpose.  There are times when we question God’s presence because we’ve turned the wrong way and can’t see God standing with us.

Questioning God, engaging God and addressing God aren’t wrong.  It’s a part of the faith journey.  Ultimately we do need to trust.  But how can we trust God if we don’t engage and dialogue?  How can we say we are in relationship with God if we aren’t fully invested in finding out what God wants from us?

When people tell me it’s not okay to confront God, I look to Jacob.  A man who struggled with God.  Jacob fought tooth and nail with God and came out alive.   He didn’t come out unmarked but that experience changed him. (Genesis 32:22-31)

Our relationship with God is meant to mark us.  God doesn’t want us to hide.  God wants us to stand up and ask the tough questions.  God wants us to be engaged in our faith, in our lives and in the world.  How can we truly follow if we haven’t wrestled with the tough stuff?  How can we truly believe if we haven’t engaged the one we believe in?

As I’ve grown in my faith I’ve learned it’s okay to debate.  It’s okay to argue.  It’s not okay to bargain but I do it anyways and I have to admit I have complained.  None of these things weaken my faith.  None of the questioning has made me less of a Christian.  I’ve come out stronger and I’m marked by each one of these experiences. I am marked by my engagement with God.

Don’t be afraid to get marked.  Ask the tough questions.  Get involved in your faith.  Confront God if you need to.  God’s big enough to handle it and the answers will come.  Fight for your faith, it’s worth it.  Fight for your mark.

 

A Journey through Lent: Day 8

 

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