Friday, May 30, 2014

Time Capsule

Today I gave my future brother-in-law a letter I had written the summer I turned fifteen. My sister who is ten years my junior is getting married at the end of the summer to her true love after getting engaged in Zanzibar a few weeks ago. I had alluded to this letter, but today my sister asked me if I could dig it out of the folder marked Special Occasions and Mementos in my cluttered filing cabinet and show it to her husband-to-be.

The contents of the letter were primarily about my sister's vivid imagination which manifested itself in an imaginary husband and numerous imaginary children at age five. Naturally I would have to tell my future brother-in-law of this previous marriage and other cute stories of the sister I dubbed "Fuzzhead". I had written the letter in tiny cursive writing on fancy stationary and it was three pages long.

In the same time capsule was a letter to my future husband which I couldn't resist opening this evening. It was sealed with a heart sticker and was clearly influenced by the True Love Waits movement. The contents consisted of promises and prayers and wonderings I won't elaborate on, but you can probably imagine a sentimental fourteen-year-old would write. In case my future husband ever materialises, I won't get into any details.

My fourteen-year-old self had anticipated the possibility that my future husband might not exist. She was definitely a romantic, but somewhat realistic in her expectations. She couldn't imagine the course of her future life, but she remained sweetly hopeful. If I could write her a reply, I am not sure what I would say. Keep dreaming, perhaps, and keep praying, and remember your own earnest vows sealed with a heart sticker and written in loopy cursive. I wouldn't tell her that in twenty years she would be writing a blog post on a lonely Friday night, with no future husband yet in the picture.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

The Bible and Me

I don't know exactly when it began, but it might have happened sometime while I was reading "A Year of Living Biblically" by AJ Jacobs. I think it dates to about that time. The book was a critique of fundamentalism and also a humorous tale in which the author decides to follow every single command in Bible. It was an interesting read for sure. Anyway it was around this time that a shift happened in the way I looked at the Bible. I had always seen the Bible as God's Word, almost in a mystical sense. I knew human authors had written it, but they were inspired to write by the Holy Spirit and what they wrote was God's message. He had guided the process whereby the books were selected to become the Bible.

I began to look at the Bible less as a divine message and more as a human creation. Not that I wholly ceased viewing it as God's word, but I began to think more about the human authors and their motivations. I started looking at the Bible through the lens of scepticism. After awhile it became harder to view it through the eyes of faith, and as God's word for me now.

I am reading through the Bible in one year. The plan has the Epistles on Sundays, the Pentateuch on Mondays, history from Joshua to Esther on Tuesdays, Psalms on Wednesdays, Poetry on Thursdays, Prophesy on Fridays, and the Gospels and Acts on Saturdays. Getting through Jeremiah and Ezekiel seemed a little like a chore. I found many days I read to get through the reading and not to hear from God. Then I wondered why I was reading it. Was it just to check off the box Bible reading on the list of what I thought a good Christian did or was it to learn and grow, listen and apply? Was I like the foolish builder who fails to put Jesus' words into practice? Was I deceiving myself by listening to the word and then not doing what it says?

I want to regain my love for the Scriptures and see them through the eyes of expectant faith. I want to be truly wise and walk in the way I should go by the light of God's word.