100 blog posts.
100 moments to slow down and ponder.
100 more opportunities to dwell on Scripture.
100 opportunities to seek out the character of God.
100 opportunities to explore the creativity that God has gifted humanity in Himself.
100 more opportunities to experience God’s love.
100 lessons that God has been teaching me.
100 opportunities to seek to share those lessons (even when I have communicated poorly, harshly, or insufficiently).
100 opportunities to learn discernment about the difference between my desires and God’s.
100 opportunities to learn from feedback.
100 opportunities to experience grace.
100 opportunities to experience the community of God.
100 moments of gratefulness for those who have shown me love, support, and practiced incredible amounts of grace and patience towards me.
This blog post is bringing me an opportunity to reflect. It is giving me a chance to look back over the last two years and the ways that God has, so graciously and faithfully, allowed me to grow and shift and mature. He has been working overtime to soften some really hard parts of my heart. He has opened my eyes to my tendencies toward hypocrisy and immaturity.
He has shown me that every day that He blesses me with breath in my lungs is a day to be grateful – not just for the lessons that He teaches us or the doctrines that help us to understand the right ways of believing – but for the personal and loving God who stands behind those bits of knowledge and expands them far beyond what I could have imagined.
I love C.S. Lewis, as many of you do. I have come to appreciate, very deeply, an idea that he developed within his classic, Mere Christianity. He makes the important distinction between what we teach and Who we teach about. He illustrates with Jeans’ and Eddington’s explanations of the atom. They are seeking to describe the atom in a way that gives us a mental picture, but “this picture is not what the scientists actually believe. What the scientists believe is a mathematical formula. The pictures are there only to help you to understand the formula. They are not really true in the way the formula is; they do not give you the real thing, but only something more or less like it.” Even beyond this idea is that the atom is not, so simply, a formula as written on a sheet of paper. It is a thing altogether different in the physical world and no scientist believes that the lead on their paper that teaches the idea is the atom itself.
Does that make sense? An atom is not an explanation. An atom is not a formula. Those two things, to varying degrees, only illustrate what the atom is. In the same way, God is not a doctrine. He is not our explanations of these doctrines. He is a Person. He is our Creator, Sustainer, the Author of our salvation, and our Father. He is not a collection of thoughts put down in a blog. He is infinitely more beautiful than I could ever hope to communicate.
But He is, absolutely and without reservation, the only One who is worthy of the investment of every moment of our lives to draw closer to. I pray to God that He uses this blog, not only to grow and mature me evermore into His image, but to help any readers to appreciate that these blog posts will eventually fade away. They are completely limited by technology and the times that we live in, but our God is eternal. His Word will never die and it will never lose its potency.
I hope to write another 100 more posts. And in that time, I hope we might grasp more and more clearly that our God is so incredibly good.
Thank You, God, for minds to comprehend Your love, for words to express Your grace, for community with which to share Your Good News, and for every individual moment to be infused with Your Life. You are too good to us. Thank you, Father, for all that You are.
Love you all,
Young Adult Minister – Evan McNeff