Life is hard. It is harder being a Christian now than it ever has been. The looks and stares we get from individuals in crowded restaurants as we sit and pray. How before my recertification exam I stood in the women’s bathroom and recited out loud the Lord’s prayer accepting the fact that I was not prepared to take it much less pass it. Women coming out of their stalls to star at me as I looked in the mirror and continued to pray. Not one person joined me. So as I am sitting in the testing room I get to question two of the exam and I look up and told the Lord that I was at his mercy and his will be done. I do not remember anything after that. For an hour I apparently finished my exam. I was recorded and video tapped. When I finally came to I was on question two of the survey questions asking me if I was male or female. I finished the survey questions and the results came up. I was nervous. I do not remember anything about the exam or any of the questions. I was told I took it but I do not remember it. The minim score I needed to pass was 750. I scored exactly 750 when the results came up saying I passed I got down on my knees and prayed. By passing I was able to keep my job which is the only source of income for our household. It was truly the Holy Spirit who took and passed that exam. I was the vessel He was working through.
So I been talking about my experience with friends and family. Some under the sacred canopy and others not so much. Those that do not attend church I have found to they just sum it up to me being smart and putting actual thought aside. That I just allowed my brain to process the information from long term memory and was doing active recall. Granted scientifically I would normally use that to explain the reasoning why individuals can often pass exams during high stress times however I argue in this case it is not. I had no idea about the information being presented to me since the exam I took last time and past was four years older. Between the walking pneumonia and outside family stress I was a mess to even get myself into the testing center. My church family has been relatively supportive of my explanation of the experience.
I was reading an article that that explained the millennial nones and developing a religious sociological discussion for the groups. For Atheist they developed the image of sacred rain boots. The significance of this is that it is a description for the boots is that they are developed by the interactions they have with those that are religious. The authors describe the world to be muddy in the eyes of atheists and how they interact with the religious helps them traverse the muddy world made by those that are religious. To me the sacred rain boots are a barrier from the larger population in general. From my experience though in general individuals are always partly atheist. Not everything we do say or see is from God. Is this right? NO. But in a majority of the population science has overwhelmed the religious community and taken the fun and mystery out of life. Believing in religion is like going back to the joy of being four years old and discovering the world for the first time. As good Christians we should always have the heart of a four year old. The problem is that we look down on that mystery and awesomeness as a negative experience. In a world where internet is like the world’s biggest library nothing is ever a mystery anymore. Our children grow up way to soon and as parents we encourage them to explore and find answers way before they should.
I believe that is why I have some much fun being at church. There is no quick and easy solutions. There is mystery and awesomeness all around it. I have begun to surround myself with friends who think and feel the way I do. We are returning to our roots and enjoying the mysteries of this life. I have spent years in academia in both the sciences and arts. I can say as an academic I love playing in the mud. As Christians we should encourage others to come out and play with us and share in the innocent joy of fun once again. As Psalm 96 tells us O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth.2 Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.3 Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.4 For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. I pray your week may be blessed and fruitful. Remember to pray continuously for both your joy and sorrows for our voice is a joy unto the Lord.
For Joy in God’s Creation
O heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty:
Open our eyes to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works;
that, rejoicing in thy whole creation, we may learn to serve
thee with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all
things were made, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.