I have a quote that whispers in my ear every couple of months and has done so for the past 5 years. It isn’t that it inspires me or reassures me, but that it
always ALWAYS challenges me to scrutinize my core beliefs. Do you know how irritating that is? I want to know what I believe, I want to be firm in my beliefs, I want to understand. But, the more I think about these words descriptions of what I want, the less I think they apply to my faith.
I think there are very few things that are extremely rock solid when it comes to the Christian faith. 1: God is love. 2: God is extremely complicated. 3: God is unlike anything that I can describe. And if you look at a majority of the denominations within this belief system, I think those are pretty common themes that aren’t spoken of very often. Why? Part of me thinks it reminds us of just how little control we actually have, but another part says it is because we have hard time accepting that which we cannot define. Both are probably applicable.
So when it comes to my faith, I want to be like a tree, planted by the stream, a reference to Psalms 1:3 that has always provided a beautiful picture of what I thought I was called to be. A tree. Firm. Solid. Strong. But the more I gaze at this portrait, the less I look at the tree and the more my eyes turn to the moving water. Each time I step into the Mississippi, it is always the same river… but the water is new each time.
And this, this is where listening is so vital to faith. God is never changing, but never ending. We assume that he reveals himself the same way to the same person without changing, but would it really be changing if he simply showed another facet of his divine nature? Have we figured it out? Have we limited God? Or are we willing to sit and listen. If I plant myself by that moving stream, will I learn more about myself or about the water that tickles my toes? The answer? I think probably both.
Oh! What was the quote?
“The glory of God is man fully alive.” ~St. Irenaeus
Honestly, what does that even mean?
1 thought on “What Does That Even Mean?”
Katie, there is so much to think about here. What strikes me first is the picture of “a tree, planted by the stream”. A tree is so stationary! Life really does come to it rather than it going after life, …or the river, …or the next thing. What is it like to sit by a stream for years and watch the river, that seems to have so much life in it, pass you by? This makes me wonder where I am in this picture…in the stream or planted?
Another thing that strikes me is how playful being by a stream can be…maybe even a tree feels the tickle of the stream.