Opening to Greater Growth--Part Two

In the previous post we discussed the Three Pile Method for considering new ideas. In summary, it is placing the things you agree with on a pile on the right, the things you disagree with on a pile on the left, and placing the things that you are uncertain with on a pile in the middle. So, how many things are you uncertain of? How big is your middle pile?

When it comes to doctrinal issues, the church has tended to specialize in certainty. In fact, religion in general has specialized in certainty. Each religion is certain that it has the “truth”. If you don’t think so, just ask any of its members. I am a member of an organized church and am constantly reminded how uncomfortable it makes most folks to not know something for sure. Our faith has become tied up in our beliefs. Most folks have small middle piles.

When you confuse your faith in God with your beliefs about God and creation, you create for yourself a whole lot of trouble. Consider this for a moment. Our beliefs about God are important—they reflect our current understanding of how we believe the universe is put together. But they are limiting.

We used to believe the earth was flat. Did we put faith in the belief that the earth was flat? Was this a tenant of salvation? Did this affect our relationship with God? Did our trust in God diminish because the universe was different than we had at first thought? Did we decide to stop being in relationship with God because our view of the universe changed?

Something has happened over the years. We have more and more identified our current beliefs with our faith. But faith is about more than “right” beliefs. You can see how easily faith and science could derail someone’s faith if their faith was based only on certain beliefs. What if those beliefs are challenged? Many experience this and so they then abandon their faith. This would never happen if their faith were about trust in Someone versus something.

Faith is trusting and is about relationship. We have faith in God because we have learned to trust that God is love and that God is interested in our restoration. God demonstrated this through the life of Jesus. God demonstrates it through the presence of God’s Spirit in the world.

When our focus is on relationship and an inner knowing of God—Christ within—we can tolerate greater uncertainty regarding our beliefs. We can grow a large middle pile and explore the vastness of the universe because our faith and trust in God is not dependent on having all of the answers. We don’t have to have all of the “truth”.

Unfortunately, it seems that it is easier to amass a large amount of certainty and true beliefs than it is to have an abiding, constant, trusting relationship with the Divine. If we are more interested in being right than in opening our hearts and minds to further growth and development in the wisdom schools of God’s universe, then we will probably stay entrenched in a very small circle. It’s hard to teach someone who already has all of the answers.

The other shortcoming of too much certainty regarding our beliefs is that we tend to become intolerant of the beliefs of others. We have to defend the “truth”. Most wars have been based on this premise. There is little tolerance for varying beliefs because we have too much at stake riding of our particular set of beliefs.

Within the context of an abiding relationship with Christ there is great freedom to explore and learn. The Spirit becomes our teacher and will closely monitor and guide our journey through the universe. We have not been left without guidance. Our relationship with our creator insures our safe passage.

We have access to this great wealth of knowledge, love, and nurturing through our personal relationship with God. By spending time every day in reading sacred writings, praying, meditating, seeking, and volunteering for service, we become members of God’s wisdom school. Instead of uncertainty creating fear, it now can give us a larger curriculum and area of growth potential. Be a learner in God’s universe. It’s the journey of a lifetime!