A Great Adventure

great-adventure-header

This past weekend I went to see Jeff Cavins and hang out with my Mom.  On Friday night, Mr. Cavins spoke of his personal story, and on Saturday he spoke all day about the Bible.  Mr. Cavins was raised Catholic, and was a Protestant pastor for 12 years, and returned to the Catholic church.  I was very interested in his testimony, and I wasn’t disappointed.  I can’t wait to finish reading his autobiography.

On Saturday, he began teaching about the Bible as the story of salvation history, how the 73 books are put together, which books are narratives that move the plot and which are supplementary books, Jewish law, prophets, etc.  The foundation of this topic was a visual timeline that shows where in history the books and stories of the Bible belong.  The coolest thing, by far, in my opinion, was a red line that extends from Genesis to Luke, showing the bloodline from Adam to Jesus.  I’m so excited to get started studying the Bible myself, and finding out about all these people and events along the way.  And that’s a big deal, because for me to be honestly excited about something so…historical…is unusual.  I’m excited about Jesus, and I think that makes me want to know more about God’s plan, the whole story.

 

I am most definitely on a journey of reconciling what I learned while I was “away” from Catholicism with the Catholic faith.  I’m not sure where I will land.  I respect Jeff Cavins and Scott Hahn, and the fact that they are so smart and well-studied on the topic of faith, and they found that the Catholic church was right…against their own wills!  But I can’t do something just because they say it’s right, any more than I can do something just because my parents say it’s right.  I have to know that it’s right, that it’s what God wants of me.  Now more than ever before, I have to know.

Why now more than ever?  Well, something happened while I was “away.”  I came to a true understanding of what Jesus did for me on the cross.  I accepted Jesus as my personal savior.  I gave my life to the Lord. 

So when I say I have to know, it’s not because I’m trying to worry my parents, or rebel against my childhood faith.  It’s because I have a bigger responsibility to the Lord than I do to my parents.  It’s because I am His, and if He asks me to leave father, mother, brother, and sister, I will do it.  I understand, believe me, I understand that landing on the side of not being Catholic will cost me some relationships.  And that saddens me to no end, to think that there are such walls between different people who are all following Jesus.  But that’s just it.  I follow Jesus, not my parents, not my church leaders.  I understand that Jesus may very well be using those people, and that I am to honor my parents and other authority, but never at the expense of following God.

A parent who has a “rebellious” child such as myself might say, there is still hope, because my child is searching, and I know she’ll find her way back to Catholicism.  Maybe so, but that’s not the point.  There isn’t still hope.  There is finally hope!  Something Mr. Cavins talked about really rang true with me.  Parents raise children to know and love God, and then when a child gives her life to that same God, parents are hurt.  And children are confused!  All the hurt and misery it takes to get to a place where you say, Lord, I’m giving you everything.  And you finally feel hope!  You finally know the love that God has for you.  You are finally ready to serve your Lord.  And this hurts your parents.  It is incredibly confusing, and somewhat bittersweet.

Maybe that’s the point.  God asked Abraham to give Him his son, Isaac, to demonstrate his trust and obedience.  Maybe God asks me to risk relationships to demonstrate my trust and obedience.  Abraham got to keep Isaac, but we don’t always get to keep the relationships that we risk.  But either way, the most important thing is that we trust and obey God.

 

Surely you can tell by now, I am in the midst of confusion about this whole thing.  It’s related to specific issues, to be certain.  I don’t understand how a person could get to heaven, being with God forever, without accepting Jesus as their personal Savior.  On the other hand, I don’t understand how a person can feel complete worship without the Eucharist, the real presence of Christ.  And since I don’t know very much about all this, it all starts to sound like the same thing.  What better way to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior than to accept him into myself through the body and blood of the Eucharist? 

Is that why I’m so intolerant of the walls that separate different Christian ideologies?  Because I know just a little bit, but not enough?

One thing I know.  Mr. Cavins said it on Saturday.  He was comparing himself to Barrabas, the guilty prisoner who was set free by Pilate, while the innocent Son of God was crucified.  I am Barrabas.  I deserved death, and instead, I was set free, and Jesus was crucified in my place.  And that, my friends, is what the entire great adventure of the Bible, of God’s plan for salvation, of my life, is about.

 

I will move ahead, bold and confident, taking every step in obedience.

While I’m waiting, I will serve You.

While I’m waiting, I will worship.

While I’m waiting, I will not fail.

I’ll be running the race, even as I wait.

–“While I’m Waiting” by John Waller

 

And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door.

–“Love Is Not a Fight” by Warren Barfield

 

You run, you hide, as tears fall from your eyes.

They fall like snow, from a wounded soul.

You hold inside the hurt of great divide.

The hole is starting to get old.

So come back to the light, to the love, you will find it’s been here all along.

So come back to the start, and you’ll find in your heart, that you always belonged to me.

–“You Belong to Me” by Grey Holiday

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