I am an enigma.
"I believe in God with all my heart.
And in a given day ... I wonder if God even exists.
I address him and I get discouraged.
I love and I hate.
I feel better about feeling good.
I feel guilty if I don't feel guilty.
I'm wide open.
I'm locked in.
I'm trusting and suspicious.
I'm honest and I still play games.
Aristotle said I'm a rational animal.
But I'm not."
~ Brennan Manning
... also that I may with a free conscience and quiet heart,
in all manner of temptations,
afflictions, or necessities,
and even in the very pangs of death,
cry boldly and merrily unto thee,
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth.
~ Book of Common Prayer, 1559 edition
In John 6, he writes about the many followers of Jesus who turned away because some of his teachings were so hard for them to swallow.
They were offended; they couldn't understand; they walked away. He asked more than they wanted to give, and he only offered himself in return. They were finished. No deal.
As so many began to slip away, John says that Jesus turned to his disciples and said, "Are you also going to leave?"
I imagine their tension. Perhaps they wanted to. Perhaps an easier road was far more appealing. I get that. I do.
He called them to make a decision.
Simon Peter, one of my favorites, is the first to speak: "Lord, to whom would we go?"
I get this story anew. It makes sense to me.
I struggle to reconcile what I know about God and how he cares for those he loves.
I feel like he asks me everyday, in the pages of my journal, "What about you? Are you going to leave?"
I want to. Screw all of this.
But where would I go?
As the spirit in me threatens to be snuffed by sorrow and loss (of love, security, identity, confidence, the list goes on...), it seems he offers my only hope for life again, for coming back to life myself.
Where else could I go?