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Journey in Faith

Spirit, thank You. Thank You for this moment of peace. When I find myself off in some dark corner, remind me that this ‘place’ DOES indeed exist. Help me drop to my knees and surrender to You so that You can bring me back here with You. Convince me that it is HERE that I have freedom. It is HERE that I can be intellectually confused AND Peaceful. It is HERE that I can rest. And in resting, it is then FROM here that I can reach out and share with others the Grace that You have given me.

Let Faith be my anchor. Help me use my mind to serve others, in turn serving You. Remind me that I have nothing to PROVE, for the real Truths I cannot prove. They are Yours and You have already made them complete. I need not discover the Truth. It has already been given to me in faith. It is obviously too big for me to grasp. Why must I be so prideful to think I must comprehend it for it to exist? Remind me that I don’t even understand how it is that I love my wife and my boys; let alone the complexities and balance of the universe. My love for my family makes no real sense to me, but I know it simply IS. That seems to be what all the important Truths are about. They are not things to master and comprehend. Instead they are gifts of Grace to accept and nourish. I NEVER question my love for any one of my boys, yet it is a complete mystery to me. Its origin is from somewhere beyond and its existence is neither something I can clearly explain or even comprehend. I cannot quantify it. I don’t love one son more than another. I can’t control it. There is no way for me to turn it on or turn it off … it simply IS.

Let my love for You follow this same example. Let my trust in You be so far outside of myself that I could not possibly come to understand it intellectually. Let my love for You be as innocent and certain as my boys’ love for me. If there is one thing that I have done right it is that, through Your Grace, I have truly expressed my love to them. Remind me that You have done the same for me. Through all my mistakes and weaknesses, they know something greater than me exists between us. And in my imperfection You have used me to share enough of Your True Love with them for them to be certain of its security. How miraculous that they can see and accept my love beneath the clouds of my failings. Likewise, help me look beneath my broken self to see the Love between us.

I know I fail … continuously. It is part of the human experience. Just remind me that this does not destroy our relationship. You created me and love me as I am. Help me realize this so that I can spend more time graciously enjoying life rather than resenting myself. Before I DO anything, You already Love me. Remind me that it is from here that I can move into action as opposed to believing my actions will somehow manufacture Your Love.

Thank You for life. Thank You for Love, for Grace, for Hope. Thank You for this mysterious Faith that is the only thing which can go beyond my own existence and unite us. It is inconceivable to consider a bridge that can reach so far beyond me that it can connect me to an infinite Being. It must somehow cross from one domain to another. It is here in this place of bewilderment rather than understanding that I come to accept the Living Word. Intellectual understanding cannot bring me here. It simply cannot go beyond me, yet I somehow ‘know’ there is something greater.

And so, I conclude that I have not found Truth, but it is finding me. Through The Spirit It presents Itself as both man and God. It is simultaneously both lowly and infinite. And this is where my faith in Christ Jesus begins. In all my searching, in all my confusion, in all my frustration … it is the only Truth that has presented itself to me. It is the only Truth that has come from outside myself in search of me. To think I can find Truth would be like asking a blind man the color of his shirt. He may know his shirt is yellow, but only if someone he trusts tells him it is so. He can only seek this truth by reaching beyond his limitations and having faith in the answer that he receives. Likewise, with as much genuine humility as I could find, I cried out to God for the Truth. The answer that found its way into my heart (or maybe actually OUT from within my heart) was this:

I am indeed incomplete. The emptiness that I sense within me is real. Life experience has shown me that no matter what I try, it’s impossible to fill this void myself. God offered Himself in human flesh as His Son, Jesus. In this form He is both human and divine, providing the perfect vessel to bridge the seemingly infinite gap between us. Intellectually, I am confused about the vast array of spiritual inspirations in the world. Within the Christian faith I am disheartened by the divisions throughout, and even within, so many denominations. Scripture often inspires, yet often confuses me. And the inconsistencies seem to go on and on … My list of doubts and concerns regarding my faith could fill a library. But these are intellectual challenges that my ego constantly echoes to try to distract me from my spirit. My spirit KNOWS God because my spirit is connected to Him. My spirit KNOWS that He is ‘ginormous’ ;-) My spirit KNOWS that He is beyond my intellectual grasp. Yet my spirit accepts the Grace of Faith that He has given me.

And this is as far as I can take you. Faith is much deeper, but words cannot go there. Language and human thoughts are locked within my mind, but faith reaches beyond this to my spirit. In this place, ‘knowing’ is no longer intellectual, but instead resembles something more like acceptance. I see my limits, but simply ‘know’ there is more. So, I cry out and then listen … Blind yet curious, I go beyond my understanding and ask the color of my shirt. God tells me it’s yellow, but to ‘know’ this I must trust Him. Who knows, chances are my shirt includes an array of intricate floral patterns with a rainbow of colors. This would represent the limitless bounds of my continuously growing faith. But today, that would only confuse me more, so God provides me with a less accurate Truth that I can grasp … And I am confident that today my shirt is indeed mostly yellow.

Resting in this spiritual knowledge is not ignorant. I’ve come to learn that it is the only thing that actually makes sense. Past experience has clearly demonstrated that relying on my spiritual knowledge always brings me to the place of Peace that I so desperately seek. And from here, I can use my intellectual tools to help navigate my human experience. If I used the word wisdom to describe the insights gained during every life experience; If I were to say that these insights – though sometimes not immediately obvious – are continually leading me closer to God, I could conclude that my spiritual wisdom grows through a recursive process something like this:

  • Curious, ambitious, confused, overwhelmed, frustrated, fearful, desperate, defeated, hopeful, slightly faithful, slightl peaceful ...
  • Which leads me back to curious and starts the cycle all over again
  • For each progression, I now add the word More :
    More curious, ... , more fearful, more desperate, to once again defeated, but then more hopeful, slightly more faithful, slightly more peaceful ...

This is as close as I can get to any type of explanation because my spirit lives beyond language. To me, trusting my spirit is, in turn, trusting God because it is my connection to Him. I don’t understand it and I obviously have a difficult time trying to explain it, but somehow I know that my spirit carries my true wisdom. Further, it seems that the wisest decision it makes is to stay connected to God, which truly is exactly all that I’ve been seeking. Completely caught off guard, my intellect is stunned to see that the further I searched, the further away I continued to move. Finally humbled by this realization … Finally exhausted and defeated, my intellect (my self-righteous ego) had no logical choice but to surrender to my spirit, which readily released the Grace of God that it has so patiently been carrying all along. Each time I trust my spirit, Grace flows and Peace follows. Until God tells my spirit otherwise, this is where I’ve decided to let my truth rest and my wisdom continue to grow.

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  John Liptak |                 919-413-8186 |               107 Crickentree Dr, Cary, NC 27518 |                           home@johnliptak.net