I had been struggling with something for a while. It was something I couldn’t quite figure out. My confusion started when I was watching Dr. Phil. His guest was a woman who had been brutally assaulted when she was seven months pregnant. The woman who assaulted her had actually cut the baby from her womb, killing the baby and almost killing the mother. I couldn’t begin to imagine what horror this woman had been through. But what surprised me the most was her attitude. She had totally forgiven the woman who did this. She talked about how she had let go of any animosity she might have felt. She had such peace about it, I wondered how that was even possible. Surely, it was her faith in God that had brought her through this, but she never once mentioned God or any spiritual beliefs. It was a challenge for me to reconcile this with my own journey and my dependence on my savior to guide me through difficult situations.
I was still struggling with that dilemma when I saw a quote from Pope Francis. He said, “You don’t have to believe in God to be a good person.” How was I supposed to make sense of his words? I kept saying to myself, “My Bible says ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.'” That seemed perfectly clear. There is only one way.
Later, I was working on my homework assignment for the Prayer and Life Workshop I am participating in. I read the scripture reading for that lesson, Acts 16: 29-34. The jailer assigned to guard Paul and Silas asked, “What must I do to be saved.” They told him, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.” As I began the prayer part of my assignment, I softly whispered the jailer’s question. “What must I do to be saved.” The answer came almost immediately. “You already know the answer.” That was true, I have known the answer to that question since I was a young girl. That wasn’t really the question I was asking. The rest of the answer threw me for a loop. “Open your mind. Your ways are not my ways. I call whom I like in the way I choose. The answer to your question is, ‘It doesn’t matter.’ Do my will and it doesn’t matter.”
Being scolded by God is never pleasant, but being told to mind my own business was a new experience for me. Just in case I didn’t get the message, the following Sunday, the gospel reading was Luke 9:46. The disciples were arguing over which one of them was the greatest. Jesus took a small child and placed him by his side. “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.”
I am reminded of the Addison Road song, What do I know of holy? There is a line in the song that says, “I thought I had you figured out.” What I learned is that when it comes to my heavenly father, I really don’t know anything. Another line in the song says, “I think I made you too small.” God is so much more than I could ever hope to comprehend. So I guess I’ll do as he says. I will work at becoming the person he called me to be and leave everything else to him.