I found in my spiritual journey that it was so easy for my spirituality to be "above ground" as it were. I followed the rules, I’d adhered to the doctrines, I submitted to authority. I believed that this was what I needed to do to be faithful, right?
But in my reading of the Gospels, Jesus had issues with this kind of "faithfulness" even to the point of calling those who promoted it as "whitewashed coffins with dead bones in them"(not a direct quote).
When I look back, I see how this faithfulness seemed to work in the beginning. I imagined myself becoming holy, acceptable to God, on my way to perfection.
Then I stumbled. Instead of sustaining me, it judged me, condemned me for struggling, accused me of unfaithfulness, and then dismissed me.
I felt abandoned by those I thought were supposed to support and encourage me. I found the quotes from scripture that I'd adhered to, such as "God will not give you more than you can carry" and "If you want God's will, you will always be happy" no longer feed my soul. In fact, they, too, felt accusatory.
And so, I had to dig deeper. It took time, as I was so wedded to the doctrine that was given to me that seeking my own truth seemed heretical. I kept searching. I had to. As I did, my search gradually revealed a different God, one who didn't send out trite sayings, or demand adherence to a doctrine that kept changing, or punished me because I was human and failed.
Instead, I found a God so big and broad and kind as to defy any human capacity to contain or understand or interpret.
I wonder about my former "faith" now. Was my problem not being able to deal with the unknown? Did I need a tidy God I could understand because my faith found ways to humanize God? Maybe I liked the security of having doctrines that became my anchor, when God was asking me to swim freely. Maybe the trust I needed to face so many unknowns required me to go so deep that I left it for what seemed more secure.
Whatever the reason, I’ve moved on from security. I walk the tightrope of trust, which accepts my humanness, my inability to read God's mind. I've replaced it with an openness to questioning, to unknowing, and to seeking.
That’s my faith story. What is yours?