So Who Chose Who?

It’s the extremely rare occurrence that I post twice in a single day, but anything’s possible.  Anyway, I just finished writing an essay for my Hebrew Bible mid-term and found myself again fascinated by the complexities of the Hebrew Bible, better known as the Old Testament.

In the assignment, we were asked to compare and contrast the theology of salvation as outlined in Second and Third Isaiah and Ezekiel.  In short, in Second Isaiah and Ezekiel, God chooses who shall receive salvation and seeks them out, while in Third Isaiah, the promise of salvation is freely available to all who choose to seek it.  When challenged to discuss my convictions, I realized that it’s unclear to me if God chooses who shall receive salvation or if we choose God and He graciously grants us His salvation.  While I thought I knew the answer to this, certainly salvation is offered to all and it’s up to us to choose, I quickly came to realize that I’m not so sure that this is really my conviction.  I mean, did I respond to God’s offer of salvation because He decided I would be saved and, in turn, sought me out, or did I freely choose salvation without any divine intervention?  It’s hard for me to believe that God didn’t play a role in my decision to seek salvation, but this question of who chose who leaves me perplexed!  Given God’s compassionate nature, it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea that God chooses a select people who will not receive salvation and are therefore doomed to hell…I’m much more comfortable with the thought that some people simply choose to reject God, and so, their failure to receive eternal salvation is a result of personal choice.  Yet, I’m challenged to accept that this may not be the case.  And this makes me wonder, why would my compassionate, loving, caring, and forgiving God reject part of His creation?  Moreover, if God has decided already who will receive the inevitable gift of salvation, why does He call humans to be His mouthpieces throughout the Earth to spread the Gospel, the message of salvation?  These are questions that I certainly don’t know the answer to, but are unavoidable in my mind.  The more I learn, the more I find myself confused and challenged in a positive way.  The mysteries and complexities of God are good, but a real challenge to embrace.  Despite this, my faith remains unchanged, I still walk with God.

Until next time…

Seeing is Believing…

Oh,_the_Places_You'll_GoOn this Sunday afternoon, I sit in my newly crafted office space, my creativity zone, with a plethora of work to be done, and yet, in this moment I’ve decided to be still and allow my mind to be renewed and settled so that I can prepare for the week ahead.  This morning I woke up feeling like the perfect storm had crashed on the coast of my life…the weight of my daily routine, and the fresh reminder of the many juggled balls that I’ve dropped lately, seemed to take over each and every one of my thoughts.  The large project at work to finalize and a mere 7 days left to complete it, the Hebrew Bible mid-term due tomorrow and the exegetical paper due soon thereafter, the prayer line participants to organize for the week, the readings to complete for class and work, the household chores to be done, the finances to manage, and the future to plan…the waves of life’s perfect storm were crashing this morning with such ferocity that my breaking point seemed in my near future.  And yet, despite feeling in way over my head, I was reminded that if I faint not during these moments of turbulence, great things are in store for me just around the corner if only I’ll open my eyes and see them.

Seeing is believing they say, but the notion of seeing something and believing it is an interesting concept to me.  We can either literally or figuratively see something, and the expectation is that we should somehow believe what we see in either case.  But what about when the things that we see unfolding literally in our lives don’t align with what we believe, how does one respond to that?  For me, that’s a struggle, you see, while I see myself living in an apartment, I believe that I’ll soon be a homeowner, while I see myself going through periods of struggle, I believe that abundance is on the way, while I see myself as a single black woman, I’m yet believing that I too will be a wife and mother to mocha-colored children.  But I have to believe beyond what I see, for in my life story, seeing is not enough to foster a believer’s attitude.  In my story…seeing could cause one to lose hope and lose sight of the many blessings that God is storing up for me.

And so, despite my greatest efforts to always hold on to what I believe, despite my best efforts to believe even beyond what I see, there are times when this is difficult and I fail…times like this morning when it feels like I can’t juggle life anymore.  It’s in times like these that I needed to be reminded that there is someone greater than me whose cheering for me, watching me, and concerned about me when my entire being has grown so weary that it can no longer believe beyond what my eyes can see.

I stand torn between two realities today, I believe that my life is about to take off and a new season is about to take root, and still my eyes seem to get fixated on a past that doesn’t want to die, a past that is trying (with all its might) to hold my future hostage, and a past that wants to remind me of my greatest challenges and failures.  Despite this, I choose to believe that my greatest days are still in front of me, I choose to believe that I haven’t even begun to reap the harvest of the seeds I’ve sown, and I choose to believe that my future is brighter than anything I can see with my human eyes.

Until next time…I believe!