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View of God changes during life

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By the Rev. Meredith Rupe

Do you struggle with your faith? I do daily. It is a part of what is often referred to as one’s faith journey.

If at age 34 we are where we were when we were 14, there is a disjunction between our faith and our life. We all grow and mature in our life, and our faith needs to change as we change, or it ends up being a dead faith or an irrelevant faith to help us with life’s journey. There is a difference between a child-like faith and a childish faith.

I find after I have retired as a religious professional that my faith is continually changing and comes at me again with newness and excitement. One example is my understanding of God. Sometimes our view of God in life is a static view rather than a living view. In the Book of Genesis, the name of God is a tetragram, “YHWH.” That has been translated as “I am,” but another translation is: “I will be what I will be.” That opens up a whole new vision of God that is dynamic, alive and evolving. For me this becomes a god that I can relate with — a god who engages me in my life.

My wife passed away during the last few months, and coming to this understanding of God has been helpful to me on this journey as I seek to understand who I am now and where I need to go in my life. Yes, there is much grieving in the process, but there is an openness in life as I move on.

Life and faith are a journey that never ends, to be lived in expectation and excitement for what the source of who we are has yet to show us. “Life is a mystery to be lived and not a problem to be solved.”

 

The Rev. Dr. Meredith Rupe, a retired United Methodist pastor, is affiliated with the Evergreen United Methodist Church.