The Occasional Shippment

Occasional thoughts from a young adult reveling in the messiness of life.

Fighting Normal

Anytime I take one of those personality assessments, I always score off the charts on logic and reason. So it often surprises people when I tell them that faith is actually a core value of mine, as faith seems to be the antithesis of logic and reason to many people.

I score off the charts on logic and reason because that’s my “normal” – that’s how I was raised. I was raised to understand the world in a very practical way, to make decisions logically and to search for reason in my day-to-day life. I was raised to be a strong, goal-oriented and fiercely independent person. In fact, the first line of the my alma mater’s creed sums it up perfectly:

“I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work…” 

I wasn’t raised in the church, and that’s okay. I am who I am today because of the way that I was raised (and I truly love who I am). One of the things that scared me the most when I first decided to go back to church several years ago was the thought that it would change me.

But you know what? It DID change me. But instead of taking away from “me,” it gave me a new lens through which I saw myself

I recognized that I was strong, but only by the grace of God. 

I recognized that I was accomplished, but only because I had been given the gifts to overcome the challenges set before me. 

I recognized that while I was fiercely independent,I was not alone, because we are never alone on this journey. 

And it is through this lens that I see how my love of logic and reason actually strengthen my faith, rather than detract from it. I don’t struggle with whether Jesus was God incarnate, with whether He performed miracles, or with whether he He died, was buried and is risen. I don’t struggle with these things because there were witnesses–people who actually saw these things happen and then went on to share the news with others. That’s logical to me.

But I do often struggle against my “normal” in other ways. My extreme practicality often gets in the way of my faith if I’m not intentional about it. It’s so easy to fall back into the view of myself as being that strong, self-sufficient, fiercely independent woman without having the God lens on. It’s so easy to focus on my career and to pour myself into whatever hobby or activity I’m currently chasing. It’s so easy to slip away from church and focus on anything but God, because that’s my normal. I am, quite simply, highly prone to wander.

But God has a way of pulling us wanderers back into the fold, and that’s where I find myself now. Until recently, I was the sheep that had wandered away from the flock, but the Good Shepherd came searching for me and brought me back. It’s been an interesting road to travel again.  In coming back, I realized just how far I had wandered away–just how far back into my normal I had gotten. I was back to being in the center of my own little universe, facing down life with my strong will and fiercely independent mindset.

But I’m feeling a seismic shift of sorts that rivals the original shift I felt when I first went back to church several years ago. I’m not sure why God came searching for me or what He wants with me now, but I now find myself more open than ever to what He has in store for me. I just need to keep fighting the right fight.

 

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2 comments on “Fighting Normal

  1. Lon
    October 21, 2012

    Loved this. Yes Christianity is not anti-rational. Christian Faith is not the opposite of reason. We are given historical accounts by eye-witnesses to trust or not to trust. I believe the Gospels and Acts written by eye-witnesses because I cannot imagine people who will brave death and torture for a lie. And their accounts of God’s revelation and intervention throughout history – especially in the person and work of Christ – make the most sense of the realities I have to face in this world.

    • JZ
      October 21, 2012

      Amen to that! Thanks for your comment.

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This entry was posted on May 29, 2012 by in Spiritual Journey and tagged , , , , , .

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