Satan brought Jesus up to the top of the great Temple in Jerusalem. Quoting Scripture, he dared Jesus to jump, reminding him that God would send angels down from heaven to catch him. Jesus refused, saying:
“Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’” (NAB)
I had a lot of trouble with this one. How have I put God to the test? I couldn't for the life of me imagine a response.
But after a couple of weeks, it finally hit me: you don't need to commit an overt act to test God. Inaction can also serve as a test.
For the last few years, as I drew further away from the Church. I knew that there were plenty of wrong answers out there, but I felt lost trying to find the right ones. So I stopped trying. I told myself that if God wants me to choose a denomination to follow, then there will be some kind of guiding force pushing me there.
The problem, though, was that I didn't do much of anything to get there. I rarely went to church, and when I did, I paid more attention to the negative aspects of each place of worship instead of its positives. I was letting God get in the driver's seat, but I wasn't even getting in the car.
Looking back, it seems obvious to me. It was pure laziness. Instead of looking for an answer, I was waiting for an answer to come to me. And there were probably some answers that flew right past me, but I wasn't even paying attention.
In a way, I was testing God by shrugging my shoulders and believing that he would magically send answers my way.
It's amazing that in a few short weeks, my worldview has taken a huge turn, just by simply opening my mind. My family and I have so far been to services at Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal and two different nondenominational churches, and we even participated in a Buddhist meditation. What amazed me is that each and every one of these gave me some form of inspiration.
There are answers out there. It just takes a little bit of work and a little bit of want to find them.
Words of Wisdom
Rose Thorn, Ph.D., Mindfulness Meditation Centers, on self-perception: "If the movie of your life were playing at the theater, would you pay money to go see it?"
- Aug. 16 teaching