I am contemplating my spirituality toady. Well, I have been a lot lately, not just today. As a thinking person, who walks upright and has a large brain (uh-huh, go ahead and laugh), I feel I am required to think and contemplate things. It’s like I am obligated to do so; it’s my duty. And as a relative newcomer to having faith in anything, I still wrestle daily, sometimes hourly, with what I feel and believe.
It amazes me when people can profess to KNOW something regarding the nature or spirit of God. Oh, I know, I belong to an organized church, and it is a church that relies heavily on personal testimonies, and I think it’s the best organized church out there. But I don’t know anything. I hope. I want. I believe. But do I know? No.
Maybe this is why I am still wrestling. Maybe this is why spiritual quiet and peace eludes me. But isn’t the very nature of God impossible to know? Isn’t faith required, and faith, by it’s very definition, is belief in something that is unknowable or provable? One of my favorite scriptures keeps coming to mind:
“…Doubt not but be believing, and begin as in times of old to come unto the Lord with all your heart and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him”
(Italics are my own) Mormon 9:27
So is my unquiet spirit because of my doubt? It is simply not possible for me to set aside my own reasoning and agency and adopt another person’s truths as my own. I NEED to know for myself- I cannot drink from another’s’ cup (or borrow oil for my lamp) and call it my own. And it doesn’t matter how many tears are shed as someone bears their own witness of God, if I don’t feel it myself, it’s not real to me. What is required of me is to do exactly as the scripture states- go to the Lord and work it out for myself.
This is not a neat or tidy process. Discovery is messy. Books must be cracked, dust blown off things long forgotten, inventories must be made, some wrong paths will be taken, and some mistakes will inevitably be made. But here is what I DO have faith in: God is real. The atonement is far more vast and encompassing than we can even fathom while we live here on the earth. That the “warm fuzzies” that people associate with God and Christ are only one facet of how and what they communicate to us- and that heavy, mysterious, frightening and dangerous things are also of God. How could it be any other way? It would be like cooking only with sugar, because you like sweetness, while ignoring the salty, sour, bitter, sharp, complex richness that is achievable to a cook who knows her stuff.
This is what a mama thinks about when her two-year-old decides to take his first nap in 4 days. Sometimes I wish I liked soap operas!