Thursday, March 24, 2011

To think or not to think

Which yoke is better? The one I carry
or the one these oxen are carrying?
I wish I could turn my brain off sometimes. I think that is part of the reason I go through long seasons where I don't read my Bible because when I do there's just too much to process and too much to be overwhelmed by. When I read my Bible for teaching prep or during the service, I feel like my brain doesn't go 1,000 miles a minute every single day. I am able to engage and wrestle with scripture in the moment, and then just live a blissful Christian existence. When I'm not as invested in reading scripture, I almost feel more freedom in my faith. What I'm starting to realize is that in the freedom there is little growth. I know a lot of people that can experience bliss and growth in their faith at the same time. I'm wondering if I'm one of them?

I say this in the midst of a brain stimulating conversation with a friend who lovingly suggested that maybe I'm a little overcritical. I say this in the midst of reading the Book of Hebrews and having a hard time with some of the theology that challenges my ideas about the relationship between the old covenant and Israel, and the new covenant and the church. I say this in the midst of worrying about the trajectory of the church's theology as a whole. Who in their mid-twenties worries about the trajectory of the theology of the Body of Christ?!?

So, there's this biblical mandate to spend time in the word and commune with God. When I listen to this mandate, I do find life and am reminded of who I am in Christ. But, I also am confused, made to feel uncomfortable, and unsettled. Ignorance is bliss, right? I know that it's not a bliss that is lasting -- it's a bliss that leads me away from the path of abundant life. 

I guess what I'm experiencing is twofold: 1) I'm experiencing that the words of Hebrews is true: "Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12, 2) I'm experiencing that the following words of Christ are a unique promise: "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30. While his yoke is easy and his burden is light, there is a yoke and there is a burden. Jesus doesn't promise here that he's getting rid of the yoke or removing our burdens. The burdens we carry are better, but they still exist.

I know that the emotional and spiritual dissonance I experience from thinking too much is a better burden, but sometimes I'd rather change it in for bliss. 

1 comment:

Annemarie Huber said...

I love your critical thinking Suzanne. I wish that I was more of a critical thinker and able to challenge myself like you do.