Having lots of time to read while sitting at my station on the West Coast indulges one of my greatest pleasures! There are times when I am busiest, that reading is almost a luxury, stolen moments of time to dream and absorb.
My life has reached the point, due in great part to the sad condition of this world, where I must live my faith openly and boldly. My chosen lifestyle, that of being on the road, allows me the greatest exposure to different people and the opportunity to study and read books in regard to my faith.
I do not consider myself a religious zealot, hounding others to believe. That is not my job; the Holy Spirit handles that just fine. My job is to live my life as an example, to demonstrate boldly or quietly (when needed) where my joy and hope come from.
I firmly believe Christianity will never die. It may be removed physically from the classroom, government buildings, and public places, but these are simply symbols, not living faith. Christianity is so much more than church buildings, religious statues, catechism primers, favorite hymns, and holy water. It is a conscious free will choice to dedicate one’s life to serving the One Master, willingly, respectfully, and obediently. Yes, we all fail to accomplish this fully, but our gracious Father doles out grace lavishly and understands, as long as we make the effort.
Two books I have finished of late are A Case for Christ by Lee Strobel and Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. Both are older books, but the messages are appropriate today or any day. Strobel’s book is a recounting of his two-year journey, through a series of personal interviews with biblical scholars, to prove the existence of Jesus and the validity of the Bible and any historical documentation of His life.
Strobel is an award-winning investigative journalist with a background in law as well, and considered himself a spiritual skeptic until 1981. His journey resulted in an unshakeable faith in Jesus Christ, who is exactly who He claimed to be. Strobel commented on the moment he fully surrendered his life to Jesus:
“There were no lightning bolts, no audible replies, no tingly sensations. I know that some people feel a rush of emotion at such moments. As for me, however, there was something else that was equally exhilarating: there was the rush of reason.”
It is a good read, and though it does not answer all questions, how could it? I believe it gives one a tremendous starting point, and for those who are already believers, a wonderful refresher with some background thrown in.
The second book I just completed is CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity. I have owned it for many years and never got through it until now. Lewis, like Strobel, was in search for answers to the emptiness he felt In spite of his success as an acclaimed author. As he put it, he was “almost afraid to know the truth.” His book details what Christians believe in the simplest sense, step by step, and why. Another good read.
I recommend both books highly. They may not have all the answers, and the reasoning at times may appear a little shallow, but I think that is primarily due to man’s inability to fully comprehend this complex Supreme Being. After all, we are not meant to understand Him fully, and we will better understand when we come face to face in eternity.
Commitment can be pretty foreboding and scary – it always involves giving up a part of self. That is exactly what faith and trust in our Lord requires – a loss of self. That is the change that occurs when one commits to a living Christian life.
Moments of grace: thankfulness to a loving Father who loves and forgives unconditionally. He is the source of my joy and hope. Amen!