I'm glad Jesus said it's important to come like little children to Him, because I've discovered recently that my complex reasoning powers have evaporated and I'm left feeling like a small child with the simplest of understanding.
It almost feels like I'm back at the beginning, back at that place when I was six and believed what I heard in Sunday school or from my parents without any doubting. Only this time, I've been through the doubt, the ugly arguments, and all the rest. So I'm really not the six year old, untried and never questioning. But I have her simplicity. At least for today.
So many conversations have taken place in the past little while and I see ones dear to my heart embracing beliefs and theologies that I cannot accept as true. At first, it shook me, and I felt like a tippy canoe on a wind tossed ocean in the Broken Islands, destined to capsize and drown. All these people around me, so much more learned than I, with so much greater ability to express themselves and form cogent arguments, drawing from history and things beyond my grasp. And there I am, just listening, wondering if I'm simply not smart enough to draw the same conclusions that they have determined to be true. And if I ought to draw those conclusions even if I cannot understand the linear way to arrive at them. And I wonder if my gut feeling is just a foolish child's reaction to cover her eyes and ears with her hands and not even consider what is being presented.
But then, I make my choice. Haltingly, carefully. Knowing that it will be tested. Knowing that it will cost something. And I decide.
I am content with being a child even though I know it will be mocked and thought stupid and narrow. I hammer my stake in the ground, tongue off to the side to help me concentrate and little arms swinging hammer too big and too heavy. But I do it anyway.
My stake is this:
I believe that the Bible is true, all of it. And I believe that it is relevant for today and meant to be lived out. I don't understand all of it, and I don't even like all of it, but I'm trusting that God will explain those parts someday. Just like a child trusts her dad to explain electricity.
I believe that Jesus is who He said He is, and that His main purpose was salvation from sin so we could be reconnected to our Heavenly Father who made us. I believe that His atonement on the cross was a very big deal and the center of the Gospel message. I believe that He gave us directions on how to live, how to love, and how to get ready for the Home He is making for us.
I believe that Heaven and Hell are real places, and not just states of being. I don't know all there is to know about them, but like a little child, I believe that they exist.
I believe that my job is to believe and to live out faith in an active way, loving and caring and serving and being Jesus' hands and feet without favoritism, keeping away from letting my life be polluted with all that is less than the best.
I believe that my finite brain can't begin to comprehend the mysteries of all of this, but I believe that God is exactly who He says He is and that His infinite brain will explain it to me someday.
And then I put down my hammer and go back to living life, knowing I don't have all the answers and can't begin to grasp so much of the knowledge that is around me. But like a little child, I'm trusting that that is okay. Simple? Most definitely. Simplistic? Maybe. If it needs to change at any point, my simple answer is that God will work that out in my heart and mind. Meanwhile, a little stake stands in a bit of ground, waiting to find out what happens next.