Monday, September 16, 2013

A question of faith

If you could ask God any question, what would it be?

Questions are vital to faith.  Without questions faith would be blind and incapacitated.  Questions are what challenges, encourages, enlivens and grows the gift of faith.    Questions invite us to explore our relationship with God and with one another.  We are called to question and to enter more fully into this relationship.

Think about the questions that you ask someone when you first meet them: name, home, work, family and the like.  If the relationship stopped there with these questions, we would be no more than acquaintances.  We would know each other's "stats", but would we really know them.

As we grow in relationship with one another we find out more nuances embedded in the information that we have learned about them.  Maybe we find out that they named their cat "Mickey" because of those childhood memories related to Mickey Mouse.  Or we learn that they really want to go to Estonia  because of their family connections.  Or that they agreed to teach Sunday school because of Mrs. Webster who was so important to their own faith development.

Beyond  the information of a person we discover their habits and personality quirks - you know, the way that they swish milk around in their mouth before swallowing or that they move their lips when they are deep in thought.  Sometimes a person's habits can be "cute" or even (become) annoying; yet, they are still a part of what makes that person who they are.

In the midst of these deepening relationships, we discover their values and what is most important to them.  Sometimes they are stated values about honesty or integrity; other times, they are implied in the ways that they interact with others.  These deeper insights come as we watch how they respond in the face of difficulties, conflict and stress.  We begin to see beyond the surface that is presented.

In  all of these stages of our relationships, questions arise as we discern a person's character, as we learn more about them and we explore the ways in which our interaction with them evolves and changes.

While our relationship with God evolves in different ways, it is still the questions that propel us forward in our interaction with  God.  We can have fun with questions like: "if Jesus came to your house, what food do you think he might like to eat" or "where do you think God might like to go on vacation?"  We can reflect on those human-like characteristics which make God more personal and real.

Still, like our deepening relationships with one another, is the values and character of God that bring us greater understanding.   In our questioning, we can reflect on what is important for God as the world is viewed or as our own life is looked upon.  We can see images of God's character as we look upon each other, as we read scripture, as we spend time in prayer.  We explore who God is in relationship with us, other people and the world.

There is much that is beyond our human knowing and that we will just have to wait to find the answers to, but it continues to be in the asking that we find out way into the mystery as well as the revelation of God.

And so, what questions are you asking of God?  And how are you exploring those questions to grow in faith and understanding?

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