College was about quest, more than anything else. I spent most of my time, energy and money pursuing more of what I did not know. A little of that occurred in classrooms. Most occurred along the way: on the bus, in the lounge, on the steps, in organized group discussions, in church, at the park, as we read things together and responded, as we sat silent and listened and responded.
The people I spent most of my time with loved God. We came to love Him in very different ways, through very different experiences, in very different venues. That was a huge blessing. The people I spent some of my time with likewise differed from me in all those things. What we had in common, in a somewhat hostile climate of students, professors, administrators and city culture, was a genuine and proven love for God.
Growing up in Athens was the greatest blessing. The non-Christianess of the place helped me appreciate my brothers and sisters, to respect them and, therefore, believe them when they offered an understanding congruent or contrary to mine. I began to see that God is not static or boxable, that Jesus, a person, was Truth, and that Spirit, not law, was God’s chosen way of relating to man.
We used to sit around and discuss, not to find the answer to a question, but to find better questions to ask. We sat around everywhere, all the time talking about who God had shown, was showing Himself to be to us and hearing others’ accounts. We enjoyed the happy tension that brings about balance, the both/and of God if you will. We all sat around and pulled hard our way – we shared with passion what revelation we had been given and listened equally intently for our brothers’. It was not an exercise or even a game. It was a life style. A lifestyle that held us all in the faith through tragedy, trial and triumph. It is a lifestyle which helps us to lead in the Church in all arenas and understandings, all over the world, today. God gave me and mine a gift – a huge gift.
I was cradled in Methodism, reared by the nuns, trained by the PCA’ers, filled anew with Wesley’s finest, inspired by artist Anglicans, cheered by the Church of God gang, and directed by Dominion doctrine. I am now at an Assembly of God church, who trains its leaders with contemplation and candor. I’ve been everywhere, though I am not a church hopper. But I have had seasons of exposure and seasons of study in most major perspectives. I am more, not less for it. What I have found is that the pursuit of answer is a trap. The pursuit of Jesus brings joy and peace.
I will go on record at this moment saying I am experiencing cabin fever (makes me think of the muppet movie). I need quest in my life, deeper, wilder, more wonderful quest. I am out of the fuel those hours 25 years ago gave me, the fumes as well. I must move on in search of more – Jesus. I cannot, I will not sit stoically and die.
Upon encountering the disciples, Jesus said, “Come, follow Me.” It is safe to follow and totally unsafe to linger. And I trust those who follow after as well, as brothers.
I’m up for quest. How about you?