I have an uncanny ability to over-correct. Like a car that’s lazily drifted onto the beveled sing-song concrete of a highway median, I can jerk the vehicle across three lanes of traffic in an emotional panic (somebody must have been texting while driving).
I grew up in a charismatic church movement (yes, there is therapy available). My particular church didn’t fit the stereotype to a tee, but I was definitely absorbed in a culture that embraced a pentecostal perspective. The good and the…uh…interesting aspects as well (I’ll leave the details to your imagination).
Over time, I began to resent some of what I felt were cheap and shallow explanations of the Gospel. Burying the unexplainable realities of life in cheap, spiritual catch-phrases (that usually rhymed). Defining an encounter with God solely as an event-driven, emotional experience. I became a bit disillusioned.
So I swung the pendulum.
I began to pursue God intellectually. To ask and wrestle with hard questions. To become more cerebral with my faith. And some of that was very healthy and healing.
Until it wasn’t. Until I over-corrected and jerked the car hard to the right.
I turned God solely into a logical pursuit, a concept or philosophy to be figured out. I eliminated the supernatural and the unexplainable aspects of my Creator.
I missed the median and headed straight for the ditch.
“While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstration and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the crucified…Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one.” (1 Cor. 1:22-25 MSG)
I hate to admit it, but I want a God that makes sense to me. So I form him in my image. I teeter back and forth between aspects of His character that appeal to my current circumstances or explain my past hurts. I swing the pendulum in an attempt to find peace, and in the process miss the Prince of Peace standing right there in front of me.
Jesus is not a philosophy to be embraced (Pentecostal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Catholic, Baptist, Anglican, non-denominational…pick your poison) He’s a person to be encountered. Daily. In the reality of my every moment.
I’m off the teeter totter. How about you? Do you ever swing the pendulum?
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