Why bother with theology?

I’ve spent the weekend reading theology books of various kinds. Some were academically oriented books that went right over my head. Others were written for the rest of us (without formal theological training) that I could understand.

Some of what I read I found myself agreeing with. Some made me uncomfortable because it stretched me in areas where I’d rather stay within in my comfort zone.  Some (not much) I just flat-out disagreed with. And some I couldn’t even pretend to understand.

But through it all, as I read these books by so many different voices coming from so many different perspectives, I found myself wondering why I care so much. Why do I keep reading and searching and seeking and asking questions about God, who God is, what it means to believe in God, what it means for how I live? Why does it matter?

The answer that kept coming back to me time and again is that I keep seeking because God is seeking me. I am drawn like a moth to the flame by this quiet call my soul hears pulling me towards the Love that I can just barely glimpse through the veil of this life. I am pulled by a longing for God that I cannot deny.

It really isn’t logical. The church, which claims to speak for God, has been the source of much of my deepest wounding. I still find the idea of church (in any sort of traditional form) a scary and uncomfortable place to be. Yet I am drawn to the One who is greater than the church, the One who is beyond all of the church’s attempts at definition, the One who haunts my life and draws my soul back again and again into relationship.

It feels sometimes like this longing will consume me without ever bringing me closer to the One for whom I long. And yet I believe that the very source of my longing is in God’s longing for relationship with me (as God longs for relationship with each and every one of us). Therefore this longing cannot be in vain, even when it feels fruitless and misguided. Even when my impatience causes me to chase other things in an attempt to fill this longing.

Perhaps the longing itself is all there is in this life. I don’t really know, and I’m not sure I will ever know. But I continue seeking and asking and knocking in the hopes of finding the pathway that leads to fulfillment of that longing.

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.

4 thoughts on “Why bother with theology?

  1. You sound like me a couple of years ago… I started meditating and found comfort in the stillness… I feel that in prayer, I’m asking and in meditation, I’m receiving my answers… Good luck with your journey…

    • I like the way you contrast your experience of prayer and meditation. That’s a lovely way to think of it! Thanks so much for your comment and your good wishes!

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