Larry Norman, in his song, Nothing Really Changes, writes: nothing really changes / everything remains the same / we are what we are till the day that we die. How true is that! This week I had a nice little reminder that what I experience (and no doubt, you as well) in life is nothing new. Let me tell you what happened.
I came across a ‘promo blog’ for the complete set of John Wesley’s writings. In the blog the author shares ten of his favourite quotes by John Wesley. I’m doing a quick read of them and then come across this one:
“When I was young I was sure of everything. In a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before. At present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to me.”
It pleasantly surprised me because I could have written that quote! I don’t know how many times this past year I have said to a number of people that the only thing I’m really sure about is that there is a God, humanity is infected and affected by sin, God sent his son Jesus to pay the price of sin, and we have the Holy Spirit who like God, is always with us (Immanuel). Oh yeh…I trust what Jesus has said: to live life with him, to live life for him, to trust him with my life. And that’s about it. All the other doctrines and beliefs, well they are sort of open for discussion.
At times this year I thought I was either having a mid-faith crisis or slipping down that slippery, heretical slope. Sometimeswhen I would say this to people I would get those sideways glances. I don’t blame them because we North American Christians sometimes have this silly notion that the pastor should have all the answers, and here I am going the other way – answer-less!
So what a breath of fresh air to realize that here was a major dude in the post-resurrection Christian era, two hundred and fifty years ago, not sure of very much! Yay! I have company.
But then the thought came to me. Believing that I’m the only one who hits mid-life and discovers that I’m only sure of the basics…well, it smells a bit like pride to me. My gut is that depending on what age you’re at, you, like me are realizing just how little you do know and are finding that you are left with the basics.
And there’s nothing wrong with that!