A brief outline of my spiritual journey though theological “phases”:
Childlike faith in God in Christ, interrupted by:
Fear-based “conversion”, leading to:
Semi-fundamentalism, which (due to the faithful way my parents discipled me in the grace and love of Christ as the fulfillment of the law) didn’t last too long because of an instilled resistance to letter-of-the-law thinking which opened the door to:
A desperately relieved re-discovery of the grace of God in Christ, which I found articulated most clearly by Reformation Christianity, which in turn formed me in:
A sacramental understanding of how God ordinarily communicates himself, a profound mystery that I found pervades all of life, and I understood to be articulated by the Church Fathers, who are presently convincing me of:
The truly cosmic implications of a God that is not simply a being but Being itself, that loves humans by becoming a human–Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary–, that defeats death by dying on a cross, that lives to give life via union with him, in his Spirit.
Through it all there has always been an undeniable charismatic/mystical experience of God walking with me in a million ways:
sometimes through intentional practices
sometimes in unexpected breakthroughs
sometimes through the right word from the just right person at the just right time
always somehow intertwined with his Church…
…guiding me always and only to Jesus.
It is not as if I am developing a greater/ deeper understanding of Jesus’ “part” in God’s plan. I am only ever more convinced Jesus is God’s plan. Jesus’ way is God’s way. Union with Christ isn’t an aspect of life, it is life itself.
And what a journey it is…here’s the thing…I find the news to be better and better the more I believe the simple teachings of Jesus:
“The kingdom of heaven is at hand”
“Blessed are meek”
“Turn the other cheek”
“I have come to give life and life abundant”
“I will draw all men to myself”
(obviously I could go on)
I mean it’s almost too good to be true but somehow I believe it so deeply