Wednesday, August 31, 2011

“Jeopardy! : I’ll Take Faith for $300 Alex.”

I am so excited to introduce you to one of my best friends...
my little sister Justine.
She will make ya think and make ya giggle!

Take the floor Justine...

“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18:3

A little boy had gone to school for the very first time. Now this school had many children with a variety of ethnicities and religion. It was not long until this little boy made friends with classmates.

One day he came home from his school and his mother asked curiously, “So have you made any new friends so far?”

“Yes. I met a new friend named Joshua Yoder,” He stated proudly.

“Oh really? And is this a little Amish boy?” his mother pried.

The little boy furrowed his eyebrows and shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know,” he innocently said.

My former preacher told this story one Sunday in church and I think it is a very powerful example of how God intends for us to live in our journey with Him. Because of the little boy’s child-likeness and innocence, he did not even notice the differences between him and his new friend. I believe God does not care about our appearance, but rather what is in our hearts.

We often put people in a box full of categories that helps us define them and not always positively. I believe this box is created in many ways throughout our lives and often gets in the way of what is really important: living like Jesus would. Loving people no matter what and having a simple faith with a direct relationship with God the Father.

Many things can hinder our “child-like” faith in our everyday lives. Some people are swayed by other people, but for me there was something that happened for four years of my life that put my faith in jeopardy and sadly sometimes still does.

Before I left for my new and exciting venture to Indiana University, my parents had bigger concerns for me other than gaining the “freshman fifteen.”

“Now Justine, you know how you were raised. You are going to see and hear a lot of things you are not used to. Just stick to your morals,” my Dad wisely advised.

I shrugged off this idea. I knew where I came from and I knew exactly who my savior was. I had been baptized when I was 16 and Christ was fully in my heart. Or so I thought.

It wasn’t until my senior year of college when I realized something horrible had happened.

Many of my classes taught us to question EVERYTHING. Nothing was true until it was PROVEN to be. We were to ALWAYS consider other possibilities. It was easier to prove an idea as FALSE than true. This was burned into my mind as I was often tested on these concepts.

One class I took even went to state that the Bible was very sexist. Thankfully one brave gentleman would courageously raise his hand to protest every time religion was dismissed as a valid idea. I’ll never forget how the professor would try to ignore his hand in the air and finally say a long drawn out, “yeess?” Her response at one point was:

“The Bible you are referring to John,” she said as she raised her eyebrows and her head did a little shimmy, “is not a fact. It is simply someone’s opinion.”

What if I would have gone to a Christian college instead? If only my faith could have been stronger through out my schooling. What if I would have protested these ideas in the classroom?

The what’s and if’s ran through my head as I would catch myself trying to critically think about the Bible. In my heart I knew I still believed in the Bible and Jesus Christ as my savior, but the mentality of needing FACTS always sprang forward as my faith got pushed to the back of my mind for a later time.

I believe in education to it’s fullest, but the way school has taught me to critically think has become my cross to bear. My child-like faith was on the endangered species list for awhile and the poacher’s were waiting like vultures for me to give up the little piece I held on to.

Thankfully moving home, attending church regularly, and meeting my significant other has slowly but surely nursed my faith back, almost to what I desire. I know this situation may not happen to all Christians who attend a public university, but I do say beware and do not let “educational” theories and ideas devour your child-like faith.

I still struggle with this questioning and pray about it quite often. I do believe in the power of prayer so your words of encouragement and prayers would be greatly appreciated.

So from now on it is my goal in the Jeopardy puzzle of my life to say, “You can keep your $300. I’ll take faith, for eternity, Alex!” No doubt about it.


Danielle said...

Wow, Justine! This is really making me THINK. Thank you for sharing. I've often wondered about what it means to have "child-like" faith. I know I wish I had it more!

Justine said...

I loved sharing! I like to listen to little Claire pray and the way she acts towards others. I think we can all learn from little ones once in awhile. :)