Cracked Virtue provides an opportunity to time travel. Just by clicking on links over to the left of your screen you can travel back all the way to December of 2006. Sorry but that’s my limit. I know, if you’re like me, you’d like to go far enough back to talk yourself out of some choices you thought at the time were really good/cool/brilliant choices. Or, if you’re like me, you’d like to go back even further and catch some crazy historical action from some time, place or person. CV can’t do that for you though but a year’s not bad. And in the not too distant past you can read a post I wrote on “Not Reasons I Believe”. In that post, in case you’re not willing to travel back to read it, I made a long list of reasons, some serious and some not so much, that aren’t reasons why I’ve chosen to 1) believe in God and 2) personalize that by trying to follow Jesus as example and as deity (him as both in case that’s not clear).
Since there are only 8 posting days left I thought I should get a couple posts in with a few reasons I do believe. There are already a few up but there are some still unsaid. Most of those are stories more than anything else. Jesus didn’t really put much effort into intellectual reasons or spend a lot of time proving who or what he said he was. I know that’s a statement that makes a good evangelical a little squirmy and Josh McDowell to throw large, heavy books at me, but I’ll stand by the statement.
I’m not saying we are without intellectuals reasons or that they don’t matter. All I’m saying is that none of my children have ever asked for proof, intellectual, scientific or otherwise, that the elusive Donna is their mom. It’s not that proof doesn’t exist it’s just that neither she nor they feel any need for it. In the same way, most of the reasons I believe in God have to do with my own personal experiences and the experiences of others. It has to do with what I read in the Bible but I believed it before I had proof that what I was reading was accurate or authentic. I’m happy for the proofs, evidences, historical record and such that I’ve come across since but that’s not where it all started.
I find myself believing today because I’ve become part of the Story. Have you ever watched “Stranger Than Fiction”? It’s a movie with Will Farrell, Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Dustin Hoffman. They all give some beautiful, understated and brilliant performances in this movie. The short notes on the film are basically this, a man suddenly finds himself in the middle of a story, complete with an omniscient narrator that only he can hear. I won’t ruin it for you but in the same way he finds himself in the middle of a story, whose outcome, it turns out, he does have some affect on, that’s how I’ve come to experience God in my life (minus the audible narration). I’ve found myself in a story, one clearly not about me but one in whom I am a main character whose story is intertwined with the stories of all those I meet.
My story then influences the stories all around me as their stories influence mine. We’re all stories, but none of us are the Writer.
In the story that John tells about Jesus there’s an encounter that has always intrigued me. He meets this woman who has come to a well to fill up her pitcher of water. An amazing dialogue enfolds between them that is made even more compelling when you look into the background, the cultural subtext and context of what’s going on there. At the end of the conversation she runs (literally) into town having spent most of her life running (figuratively) from the town and she says, “Come check out this most amazing man…” And because of her the whole town comes out and meets Jesus for themselves. But later they say to her, “We don’t believe just because of what you’ve told us, now we’ve met him and seen for ourselves…” And that’s a reason I believe. Somebody told me, “Come check out this amazing person named, Jesus…” and I did but I don’t believe anymore just because I was told about him, I believe now because I’ve met him for myself.
From “Stranger Than Fiction”
Ana Pascal: Did you like the cookies?
Harold Crick: Yes. Thank you for forcing me to eat them.
…to be continued…