Just another traveler on life’s highway hanging out in the slow lane. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. Beyond the horizon is rest calling my name. Green pastures, still waters, my cup overflows.
There currently is a television commercial depicting a hiker walking on a beautiful, unfamiliar wooded trail using GPS as a guide. In an instant he drops his backpack, runs ahead on the trail. The last scene is disconcerting to me, even though I have seen it many times. Running at full speed, he jumps off a cliff several 100 feet high into a beautiful shimmering lake awaiting below.
Would you trust your GPS that implicitly? Could I? Trust it enough to jump off a cliff to certain death if the data is not correct? What if there is no deep water at the end of my jump to cushion my fall?
We are asked to do the same with our faith. Nobody has returned from death to tell us about the glories of heaven or the depths of hell. Nobody has seen Jesus sitting at the right hand of God. NOBODY! So why should we believe? I am a rational, reasonable human being who has spent numerous decades trying to determine what life is about and I have as much certitude now as I did when I came into this world.
BINGO! Faith is not about certitude. Faith is trust in the mystery which tells us that light will overcome the darkness, that love will prevail, that peace on earth will occur when mankind becomes peaceful in all his affairs. Faith is not at the end of the trail, a destiny to be attained. Rather, it is the trail itself.
We read scriptures for many reasons. The history of the Jews is an interesting lesson in the human condition. All the trials, the greed, the intolerance, the violence are balanced by victory over ego, insights about communal living, stories that reflect man’s search for God.
The writings by the contemporaries of Jesus relate His message that relieves followers from the 613 Laws of the Old Covenant observed by ancient Jewish culture. Some Christian leaders today carry across the B.C / A.D line those Old Covenant laws attempting to override the simple message of Christianity regarding laws (commandments).
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind and all your strength. The second is this: love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark: 12:30-31
Pretty simple, straight-forward theology, is it not? We don’t need anything more to trust that our faith is heading in the right direction. Forget all the ‘thou shalts’ and ‘thou shalt not’ from the ponderous teachings and preachings of modern Christianity which have done more to oppress than enlighten. That is what John said:
“If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36
He’s talking about freedom from the oppression of ancient theology and theological laws. We can trust a simple faith which places God and love for fellow-man at the center of our beliefs. Nothing more is needed.
How we live our faith is a choice we make every day. The rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous urge us onward with this daily choice by slogans on the wall. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid – is one of them which embodies a way of living, a faith walk if you will, that frees us from concerns about religious correctness. The fellowship which occurs in those rooms attests to the success of making sober-living people out of drunkards through a simple spiritual program. Have you KISSED today?