As a Christian, having your faith challenged is so difficult. I imagine it is for any religion or for any circumstance. I've found myself in the past weeks being challenged continuously. I realize that we are to rise to the challenge and meet every dominating word with simple abundance, but it gets really difficult.
I went to private school up until the time I was in 8th grade. I loved it and often reflect on how much I miss it and what might have been different. Because of this educational foundation, I learned a lot about scripture and the Bible. We had "Religion" class each day and this was one of the most fascinating courses I took in middle school. I only wish I was able to continue taking them. They are never available at my college. We were also to memorize different verses each week, ones that got lengthier and tougher as time went on. I look back and am so thankful for this as it is the sole reason I can recite them now. Hats off to all of my teachers growing up :)
Despite all of this, I am not a scholar when it comes to the Bible. One of the most frustrating things to me, is that non believers expect you to know every word, every story, and every lesson of the Bible inside out. Yes, it is what is at the very core of my being and what I base my life upon but I do not know every word of the contents. Does anyone really know every word of a book so large? Should I be ashamed I don't? It confuses me so.
Being a person of faith, I don't need evidence. I don't need proof. I don't have a desire or a need to go back in time and trace every story, every spoken word, and the living history of the Bible. Do I want to someday visit the Holy Land? Absolutely, but faith is the measure of things unseen. To have faith, you do not need proof. I am absolutely confident in my faith and can't imagine living life without that concept. None of us know what lies ahead, but we believe it's going to be okay. It's all been taken care of. It's all been ordained. I have nothing to fear. That faith, gives me nothing to fear. Living life in a world of complete uncertainty seems so chaotic to me. I, personally, just can't imagine. Coming across those that need proof are totally the epitome of frustration. Proof goes against the very core of faith. How are we to engage such people?
The others who prove to be major challenges for me, are the ones who need an answer for everything. They come up with incredible stories of what they think the Bible means or how they decipher a story. They want us to explain to them how that could be when our Bible says "XYZ." I just don't find this conversation pleasurable in any way. Most of the time because they are simply non believers, they don't have all of the fact straight anyhow. They take bits and pieces of the entire puzzle and form it into something that just doesn't make sense. To understand something, you have to look at the whole picture, despite your feelings on it. Are they scared to read the whole thing for fear of possibly believing it or it affecting their lives?
I was in discussion with a fellow blogger weeks ago and explained to him as I was walking around the campus of Rollins College in my hometown, that for me, I have nothing to fear as a Christian. If the end comes be it by death or otherwise and there is no God, there is no Heaven...so what? Do I feel like I'm missing out on life by being a Christian? No. Sure, I try to live my life as close to Biblical principals as possible, but it's because that's who I am. Not what a book or religion forces me to be. I do not feel an ounce of pressure or force to be who I am in my faith. So if the end days come and there is nothing, at least I was happy, fulfilled, and lived my life in a positive way. Doesn't seem like I'm losing does it?
I do not claim to be the picture perfect Christian, nor do I judge those who choose not to be...BUT...I do get saddened when I learn of people who aren't of faith. They don't know what they are missing. I know that can sound crazy, but for me, imagining my life without my God and my faith...it would be one desolate wasteland. What do I have to live for if I don't have faith in better things to come? Knowing I was promised these things by my Lord & Savior. I don't know, I just can't wrap my head around it. However, I appreciate everyone's individuality and personal destinies. It's why I don't ever push my faith onto others. I try to live my life in such a way to exemplify it and when others ask, I can let them know why and how I've managed to go through so much and come out stronger, better.
For every time I feel spiritually drained from a conversation with a non believer, I feel doubly as full when I'm in the mere presence of someone who loves God like I do. That's a feeling that will never be taken from me.