Monday, March 7, 2011

Valley Experiences vs. Mountain-Top Experiences

"What mountain-top experience has shaped your faith?" asks the ELCA on Twitter (March 5th).

I'm thinking my faith has actually been shaped more by down-in-the-valley experiences than by mountain-top experiences.

It's the valley experiences that make me understand about surrender which is a precursor to faith. Faith is a gift, but it's a gift that comes at times and in forms least favorable to your wanting to accept the gift.

Accepting God as God in your life is about recognizing that God has all the power and that what power you think you have is illusory and puny in comparison. A metaphor for this would be the trust fall, where you willingly let yourself fall into the arms of your companions, trusting that they will not let you fall to the ground.

In our lives we are always falling metaphorically, and once in free fall, it's not our power that prevents us from falling all the way down, but God's power that saves us. All we have to do is answer "Yes" when God calls us.

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