In the battle of “does theology matter or not,” I’m loathe to pick sides. Both Dr. Browning and Matt’s arguments were compelling. Last week I argued theology did matter. At this juncture, and after Sunday’s sermon, it would seem logical to contradict myself.
However, like Matt, I’m a bit of a contrarian. I won’t be doing the expected, instead I’m simply going to shift gears and tell you what I am certain matters.
I’m not just talking about faith in God or faith in Christ’s path. I’m talking about faith in one another; faith in humanity. It’s safe to say that kind of faith is bound to let you down from time to time. But for once in my overly cynical life, I’m going to play optimist here.
There’s a country song about thanking God for unanswered prayers. I submit that life provides, not always what we want, but what we need to grow as people.
I don’t want to sound fatalistic and say that our lives are planned out for us before we are born. I truly believe that God’s “plan” for us is one we forge through a relationship both with God and those around us. God provides a path, we either choose to follow or not follow.
That said, each person and each experience we encounter in life is a lesson and an opportunity. This is where faith comes in. Rather than seeing the things that happen to us as merely happening, we need to see those things for what we learn from them. We need to have faith that while the lesson or opportunity may not immediately be clear, eventually our experiences will make us stronger, better people.
When you stop and reflect on all the good and bad things that have happened to you over the last year, I’m sure you’ll realize there are takeaways from each of those events. Those takeaways provide a guide for the steps to take as you continue forward. Often life’s bumps and starts are precisely the knowledge you’ve been seeking.
Have faith in the people and events that come to your life. While they may not seem significant or beneficial at first, a few years later you may realize just how much that event helped you along the path you’ve chosen to make for yourself. Even just stopping to reflect on those things help all of us to be more alive and engaged with one another.
As Pastor Laura says, “May it be so.”