We all believe in something. We believe that we are meant to do something with our lives. We believe our kids (or in my case, your kids) are special and capable of anything they set their minds to. We believe that our team will win a Super Bowl in our lifetime (although as a life-long, die-hard Minnesota Vikings fan, I have about 25 years of heartbreak that is pretty much proof that it won’t happen — but I still believe it!).
For me, there are two types of beliefs. The first type is informational beliefs — beliefs that are determined by the information you have available at any given time. This first type is tricky to explain because these are the beliefs that can change on a pretty regular basis. For example, I used to believe that Taco Bell’s tacos counted as real tacos — and to be honest, for South Dakota they probably did. But then I moved to Texas, realized that Torchy’s existed, and my belief changed. Another example would be Santa . . .
. . . Just kidding. I wouldn’t do that. (You’re Welcome Parents)
The second type is what I would call a fundamental belief — a belief that you hold to be so true that they are core to who you are. These are the things we identify with, that we cling to when things get hard, that make us the people we are. Sometimes these will change too — sometimes things happen that shake you to your core and it changes the way you see the world around you and what you believe about your place in all of it.
These are the beliefs that we need to get better about talking about. But this week, instead of trying to teach our youth how to talk about their beliefs by giving them an outline or bullet points, I’m just going to talk to them about things I believe in — the things that make me who I am.
I believe that people are good because they were created good. A couple weeks ago, Jenny talked about how we are all created in God’s image, and that isn’t limited to people that look or think like us. And yes, we all make mistakes and we all look a lot less than perfect from time to time, but I believe that each and every one of us is good because we were created that way.
I believe that we are all a little lost sometimes, and that’s ok. We don’t always have it figured out. We sometimes find ourselves wandering like the prodigal son, not really sure who we are anymore or what we are doing and all we want to do is come home. We sometimes are right where we are supposed to be but still feel out of place, still feel like something isn’t quite right, still feel like we aren’t sure who we are and all we want is home to feel like home again.
And that’s ok.
Because I believe in a God of love.
I believe that God keeps running after us and calling us home, even when we fall short or feel like we don’t deserve it. Jesus talked a lot about things that were lost and were found — a coin, a sheep, a son.
But more than that, I believe that God loves us right where we are, in this moment and in this place. Psalm 139:7-10 says, “Where could I go to escape from your spirit? Where could I go to escape your presence? If I went up to the heavens, you would be there. If I went down to the grave, you would be there too. If I could fly on the wings of dawn, stopping to rest only on the far side of the ocean — even there your hand would guide me; even there you would hold me tight.”
From our highest of highs to our lowest of lows, no matter the things we say or do or think, even through the times that the darkness closes in around us and we feel trapped and alone and afraid — even there God will guide you, even there God will hold you, even there you God find you.
That’s what I believe.
Hopefully this week our students discover something that will help them in the future. Maybe its just hearing someone honestly talk about what they believe and learning how to do the same. Or maybe its hearing something that clicks with them and helps them better understand what they believe or who they are. We’re not always going to all believe the same things. We’re not always going to have everything figured out. But we all believe something — so what do you believe?
Associate Director of Youth Ministries