In this age of my life, the ever-exciting age of post-college, I find that there are a lot of reasons to doubt. It seems like each morning provides fresh reasons to doubt or fear and sometimes, those fears get the best of me. I irrationally fear that God isn’t.
Perhaps I need to throw in a sidebar here. I believe that God speaks to us in many ways, not just through the Bible, but through the whole of creation, whether it be His creation (sunsets, nature, the stars…) or not (movies, music, books…). You may believe similarly, you may believe differently. But, that’s not why I write. That’s not why I’m here.
When those fears start to get the best of me, a quote (and I have many…) I like to read is this, from Lord of the Rings, spoken by Sam.
It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t.
I remember that in this moment of my life, I am like Frodo, going on a quest across the lands of Mordor. I am like Indiana Jones, riding his stallion across the deserts in search of the Holy Grail. All of those classic stories, I feel, often get considered as a myth, and in a way, they are. But, in a way, they aren’t.
Even some of the heroes in the Bible had opportunities to turn back. Moses. David. Samuel. They each had a moment when they chose whether to believe or not. You know what? They chose to believe. They trusted in a higher calling, in the fact that God is.
I’ve been planning a move to San Diego for quite some time now. I went there for my senior year’s Spring Break and absolutely loved it. It was a fantastic experience with a fantastic and beloved red-head. Returning to quiet Wilmore, Kentucky, was a hard, painful thing to do.
Now, eight months after this dream, this desire was awakened in me, I realize the importance of it all, the importance of not turning back. It is hard. Everyday, I get confronted with the reality of it all in some way, shape or form. There’s student loans. There’s high unemployment. There’s a struggling economy. There are a million reasons that this shouldn’t work out.
Readers, there will always be scoffers, nay-sayers, valleys of shadow, pits of despair. Some may claim that God isn’t. Some may say that it (whatever this “it” is in your life) can’t be done. Some valleys may seem like they don’t end. Some pits may seem too deep to climb out of.
But, I know one reason it’ll all work out in the end and that reason is God.
All He’s asking us to do is to persevere. To hold true to what you believe. To listen to that still small voice inside.
To have faith that God is.
Today’s Readings – Psalm 16, 17, 22, Amos 5:1-17, Jude 1-16, Matt 22:1-14
Kevin Wolf is a former camper who has served on summer staff – most recently last summer. He is a graduate of Asbury University.