I was speaking with a friend earlier, and he told me of a young woman he'd spoken with whom had expressed a desire to be able to articulate her beliefs.
Now, I don't know the full scope of her hang-ups on why she can't articulate. She did say she wished she had experience that comes with age and study. Perhaps she wished she had the wisdom as well. I didn't ask for, or receive, more of her story. But just the little bit he did tell me reminded me of my own life, and my own journey with God; and it reminded me of what I have heard from others as well.
At some point in many people's lives - whether they've gone to church since they were infants, or barely even heard of God - they get this sudden desire to know more and to be able to speak to others about what they believe. They want to get their voice out there - or, although they may not realize this is the case - they want to be God's voice.
It's a very difficult concept to explain. It's as if one moment, you're simply going through your days believing what you've been taught. And then from out of the blue, concepts and beliefs fill your very core. You have no clue if what you're believing is true, or even remotely close to truth.
This can be a very exciting time, but also difficult one. On the one hand, part of us is screaming to let that voice free; but at the same time, we know we have limitations. We're too young, or at least too young spiritually.
For me, I was 20 years older than this young woman I heard about when I truly experienced this. I was almost 38. But I was very young spiritually. Yes, I'd read the Bible. I'd gone to church as a child and teenager. But all I knew was what I'd read and been taught, and what I wanted to believe. To have this sudden urgency to express beliefs that I didn't even realize were inside me was a bit intimidating, and confusing, and frightening, and exciting, and a myriad of things. And the feeling of being unable to articulate those beliefs was frustrating at best. To be completely honest, that is why this blog was started.
Most of these are self-imposed. They aren't quite the same as self-doubt... although self-doubt is surely a part of it. But when I think of self-doubt (as I spoke of in my last post), I think of that depressing feeling of unworthiness. Limitations, on the other hand, are more based on physical and mental limitations. It's not simply feeling unworthy, but rather feeling incapable.
Like self-doubt, these limitations can hinder us from following God's will for our lives.
Today's Lenten sacrifice:
Push past those limitations.
I believe that sudden urgency we feel is God calling us. We may not know for what we are being called. We may not know that for a while. And it may simply be that we are being called to grow in faith (or, God strengthening our faith I guess would be the better way to put it). But we're still being called to action. That's why we get this sudden desire to start actually listening to what is being preached, and take it in. That's why we start seeking out those who know more and, especially those we can trust who will take the time to let us fumble for the words to express our beliefs without criticizing those beliefs.
Keep doing that. Keep seeking wisdom and knowledge. Ask questions. Let yourself find someone who is willing to discuss your beliefs in a non-judgemental way. And as always, pray. Pray God continue increasing your faith, that he stay beside you through your journey, that the Holy Spirit continues to lead you and guide you and help you to be and do what God wants of you.