The further I get in to this program the more humbled I become at what God is doing. It is almost comical the games that are being played here in this university. Corruption runs rampant throughout this university, throughout this town. It is a continual prayer of mine that God would guard me from even an ounce of that attitude finding its way into my being. And the funniest thing in the end of the day is that I continue to stand from afar, aghast by the occurrences within LA county, but somehow God has broken my heart for this city, for these students. But then I look around (figuratively) and realize that this spirit, this sadness that overpowers this city… is the reality of the world we live in today.
It is only in places such as Los Angeles that the prevalence of such issues is seen first hand. People are upfront with their beliefs, their personalities, their wants… In a way it seems better than the oppression that you would see, let's say, in a small town such as Quincy, my hometown. Here in LA, I can find people instantly to wrestle with me. Be it those in opposition or those supporting me. The push for knowledge… The desire for understanding is manifested in so many ways in this city, it is sometimes overwhelming.
But, just as in Israel, in the end of the day everything turns comical again. Because in the end of the day, whether my beliefs have been thrown in my face, whether God has given me counsel through another believer, or whether it is just another "one of those days," I can end my day clinging to the pillar of Christ, to the God of Abraham. So many thoughts have gone through my head these past years. Living in different countries, meeting so many people, experiencing so many different faiths. But this image of Christ I relate to so much as in this particular type of camera movement we are learning in class. It is a type of pan (left to right movement) of the camera where, with a certain type of lens, when a character is moving at the same speed as the camera movement, everything in the background blurs together while the character remains clear.
This is how I see Christ at this point in my life. Every single thing in my life is blurry right now. Every person I talk to gives me some type of different doctrine to believe in, some different outlook on why we are here, or altogether rebukes what I believe. And you know, I feel no hatred towards God. I feel no anger. I have friends who tell me, "God is not a God of confusion and you are confused."
I struggled with this for a while. I struggled with the fact that SO MANY of my questions are still unanswered, after years of seeking and praying. But, in the end… is it really the answers to these questions that matter? Truly?
It was many phone calls to my parents, and nights of sitting out in the backyard, on the beach, in my car yelling at God, crying out for Him to answer. I needed those answers. Or so I thought. The more I study, from Christians and non-christians alike, the more I realize that both sides are equally going to have as much countless information to present to you.
It was then that this "confusion" that I was amongst was not a question of my faith at all. It wasn't a question of whether God was still staying true to His word, to providing clear answers. You see, God is perfectly clear. I have all the answers that I need, my salvation through Christ Jesus. That may sound cliche… but I tell you that it is not. Let me explain.
In my life, I can prove, I know, that I am a human being created with a need. I was created with an inclination towards sin. Christ ultimately filling in the imperfections, the sin, so that I would not have to pay such a price.
You can debate for years on whether the Bible is historically accurate, how God's sovereign power works with the free will that we are give, whether or not the laws of the sabbath should be kept to this day or not… and most likely, you will be overwhelmed by the information thrown at you. However, because God calls us to Faith and not works, to wisdom and not necessarily intellect… our core question that we just have to answer for ourselves is very simple. Do we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to save the souls of mankind? Do we believe that we are not self-sufficient. That we are lacking?
Historically, Christ has obviously been proven to have been a real person. If you would like more info on extra-canonical (outside of the Bible) sources I would be more than happy to reference a few for you to see yourself. So, Christ was on this planet. Was he the Messiah? Now that my friend, is where we are at. For me, God says that if you seek Truth you will find it. I BELIEVE THAT. And I hope you do too. I don't know how to tell you this but I want you to be able to be solid in that truth. If nothing else, you must be solid in this question. We must be solid.
And this, I guess, is the intention of this post. Me, just a crazy college student pulling his hair out every single day not about homework, or stress, or even what I am to eat/wear. I am just a kid trying to find answers to so many of these questions that so few people know the answers to.
Except for this one. And that is why, at the end of the day, I just laugh. I know, from historical documents in combination with the very nature of the being that I am that Christ is my Savior. And as is said in an incredible quote in one of my favorite movies….
“I shall die here. Every last inch of me shall perish. Except one. An inch. It's small and it's fragile and it's the only thing in the world worth having. we must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.”
― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
That inch is Christ. He is the one inch in this world that I have. He is worth holding on to. I will be thrown up against more conflict, more questions, more debates throughout my entire life. God has made that already evident through the many professors, rabbis, and agnostics that he has surrounded me with. But I will not give up that inch. And I hope, with prayer and continual focus on that inch, the Lord, that you would see Him clearly. When everything else in the world seems to be unclear, when your heart seems to be going in a million directions. When you feel like one more breath is the only energy you have left in you. I pray that you, and I, would focus on that, to walk in line with Christ so that he does not become another one of those blurry images passing you by.
We are blessed. Because, although it is only one inch, although it may seem like nothing in the world… that one inch is what means everything in the world. And if you hold on to it, nothing else matters.
I now look at questions not as a threat, because there is nothing that they can do to my heart, my pillar in Christ. I will study, I will seek, and I will continue to pursue Truth. It is then that these questions that still squander in my head no longer have significance towards my faith, or my life, but toward the fact that I will "never let them take it from us." I want to pass on knowledge of Christ that was long fought for. I want to be able not to debate, but to be able to present a side of religion worthy of a "scholar" taking a second look.
I firstly desire for the salvation of the entire world. A salvation that is rooted. That is knowledgeable in who and what they are seeking after.
The second thing I desire is that we would come back continually to these hard questions. That we would continually seek the Truth that God has written in His Word but ALSO on our hearts and within nature.
I am praying for you, whoever you are, that your journey towards knowledge would be solidly grounded upon a faith that cannot quiver.
Blessings from California,