• St. Luke's ELCA

Daily Inspiration - September 2

“Faith... the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1. If you would, please reflect on those words for a brief moment while asking yourself, is there any wonder that each person’s faith journey is theirs and theirs alone! To any reasonable person that verse is a complete and total absurdity. How can one place full trust in a belief that is based on things hoped for but never seen?

The following is a brief, extremely over simplified distillation of my personal faith journey — away from and back to, God. For certain, this will not resonate with all. Many are fortunate to not have rebellious minds that always question, as does mine! However, for those who have that malady, this may resonate, giving a bit of comfort in knowing you are not alone!

The circuitous route I took toward embracing the mystery of God started in earnest while progressing through the period of individuation from early adolescence into adulthood. I tested the faith gifted me at birth... wanting a more robust definition for the “origin of life” than the “faith” of Hebrews 11. Turning to science where a “God hypothesis” might be tested, I looked toward a natural explanation for the origin of the universe... minus the need for a Divinity. The need to eject the encumbrance of a messy faith led me down the road to skepticism of significant proportions. However, an eventual disillusionment set in while searching for the “devineless” origin of all things. Every theory presupposed an energy that explicitly contradicts the definition of a “devineless” origin evolving from a nothingness void. Then while viewing a cartoon in Time magazine, my journey back toward a divinity was given a significant boost. Depicted was a theologian and physicist climbing opposite sides of the same mountain. When arriving at the summit with noses touching and eyes heavenward, a cloud overhead contained one word “Mystery.” Clearly, both characters were on a similar journey from contrasting departures — both were experiencing the same conundrum — mystery. The difference... one possessed a gift — “faith!”

I love the story in Mark’s Gospel of a father who brought his son to Jesus for healing and Jesus said, “everything is possible for those who believe.” The father stated, “I believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” What a profound and powerful paradox for one small verse to hold... none-the-less, Jesus healed his son! Each day He continually does the same for us, even in our unbelief. Bask in comfort knowing, He is the great I AM.

God’s love, peace and understanding

Paul Harshner




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