We have a natural tendency to believe, “Everything I believe is right and if you don’t believe exactly like me then you are wrong.” This idea of right and wrongness has changed for me in the past few years. I don’t have the certainty I once did. In the past, I was “certain” of my beliefs. I knew I was correct. If you didn’t believe the same thing I did all I needed to do was to convince you that I’m right.
Now I understand I’m wrong about some things I’m just not sure what those things are. While I do have strong convictions, I realize I don’t have all the answers. And this is okay because it’s not my job to have all the answers.
I have a friend that loves to talk about philosophy and theology. These are some of my favorite things to talk about too. When my wife I first moved to Chicago, this friend and I immediately connected because we love to talk about, discuss, and debated theology and philosophy. It’s so much fun.
It’s not fun because we agree on everything. In fact, most of the time we don’t. This is what makes these conversations so great. He can say what he thinks and I can say what I think. He doesn’t look at me like I’m stupid or try to convince me that he’s right because I don’t believe the same things he does. We have conversations and learn from one another.
One thing we’ve talked about is the Trinity. It’s this idea in Christian theology that God (father), Jesus (the son), and the Holy Spirt are all together, three-in-one. If that sounds confusing it’s because it is confusing. Now, this one sentence doesn’t encapsulate everything about the trinity but you get the idea.
I always assumed (you know what they say about that, ass-u-me) this idea was in the Bible. In college, I learned that nowhere in the Bible is the trinity mentioned. So, if it’s not in the Bible then it’s not true, right? No so fast.
The hardest thing to explain is God. We are trying to encompass all of what is true, right, and correct about the creator of the world into words. All that is true about God can’t be contained in words.
Just think about when someone has asked you, “who is God?” I’ve answered something like, “Well God is like a father and God’s loving and God’s also the creator of the world.” Sure these are things that describe God but this isn’t the complete picture of God.
We want concrete answers. The reason my friend and I can discuss things like the trinity so much is because there aren’t concrete, definite answers when it comes to God.
I don’t know what the right or “correct” belief about the trinity is. I probably never will and I’m becoming okay with not knowing. Part of the mystery of God is that He is with us but at the same time completely other than us.
When it comes to the trinity I go back to the idea that God is a mystery. There are moments when I feel like I really get God. I see love in the creation that God has made through this beautiful world. This might be through seeing something like the Grand Canyon or seeing the people who God has created and loves.
There are other times when it seems as though God is absent. Sometimes this is a painful situation and other days nothing really goes wrong or is painful but I still feel distant from God. There is this mysterious nature attached to things of God.
I’m learning that God, Christianity, and the Bible isn’t a problem to be solved. It’s a map to explore. Just when I think I know all the answers, something I never heard of pops up on the map. It changes everything.
I’ve decided to stop trying to be certain of my beliefs. I’ve invited what I believe and what I’m not sure about to sit at the same table. They’re becoming friends.
Jesus is God with us and
Jesus left us the Holy Spirit to say with us.
Each day I’m discovering more of the map God has left me. I’m learning more about God each day and
This is enough. I believe this is all God wants from us.
God is mysterious and difficult, but I believe continually discovering God, instead of being completely certain of God, was His plan for us all along.