Thursday, February 24, 2011

A light

Hmmm.  <--- That is often how I feel during Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, after returning from class.  Just, thoughtful...in a complex sort of way.

So what are Tuesdays and Thursdays, you ask?  Well, even though I'm still in high school, I'm taking a class at a local community college for both high school and college credit.  Awesome, right?  Heh.  Well, sometimes.  This quarter, I'm taking a philosophy class.  It's been interesting.  To say the least.  Honestly, as much as I complain about it [because some of it is ridiculous and other parts just make no sense], I've actually enjoyed the class as a whole.  Our professor is the best.  He doesn't just lecture; he teaches.  He asks questions, he lets us ask questions, he makes us talk and discuss and tell our own opinions.  And oh, there's a diversity of opinions, trust me.  This class has been a challenge, yes; but it's made me think.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Because our professor encourages us to have class discussions (indeed, that's what most of the class is), we get to hear everyone's opinions on everything philosophical.  And it just so happens that the past two weeks we've been focusing on the study of the philosophy of religion.

We've had some good debates about some of our readings.  The readings have presented arguments for and against the existence of God, and we're all able to say whether or not we disagree and why [in philosophical terms, of course, so it's a bit complicated].  But today, it came down to it.  We weren't even into a big discussion yet, and someone out and said it.

"So, who believes in God?"

-raises hand-  That would be me, sir.

Not a whole lot of people raised their hands--maybe not even a majority--but there are those few, and it was good to know who they are.  Even if they're not Christians, even if they're not saved, even if they're not following...they believe there is a God.  And that's a start.  So then, the next question comes along, from the same person.

"Why?"

Whoa there.  That one is a little tougher than a yes-or-no answer.  Listen, we'd already been arguing about the proof for God's existence for two weeks.  I think most of us had an idea where everyone else stood.  And philosophically--logically--it's hard to prove God's existence.  I've officially tried.  Enter my friend Reanna, who is also in my class.  Last week, she wrote me an encouraging message just to say, "God doesn't need you to prove him.  God doesn't need to be proved logically at all, because that's where the element of faith comes in.  And hey, you don't need to have all the answers; you just need to be a light."

And I thought to myself, thank goodness.

Not that I was ever worried about knowing everything or trying to preach at people.  But being in this class has made me realize just how little I know, and how little I am.  And it's opened my eyes to questions and doubts that the world really has...not just random philosophers who decide to devote their whole lives to proving that God couldn't be real...but everyday people.  Average college students.  People who have questions but no answers.  And it's made me realize that I can't have all the answers on my own either.  Because when that tough "why?" question was asked...well, enter Reanna again.  She believes in God--I believe in God--because she has encountered him.  I have encountered him.  Call it revelation.  Call it insanity.  Sure, I'll gladly be an insane maniac who has encountered God.

So the discussion ensued.  Arguments for believing in God, as well as those for not believing in God...they were all presented.  We debated.  From morality to evil to design to logic to faith to history and back.  Funny thing is, some of the people who have said outright that they don't have any belief in God have actually made some of the best arguments for why it makes sense that he exists.  We can't begin to stratch the surface of the matter.  But it makes me think about why I believe what I believe, because that's just as important.

The one guy who asked everyone whether or not they believed in God and why--he was sitting right near me.  This entire quarter since the beginning, this guy has done nothing but cuss every other word.  He often brings seemingly irrelevant things into the conversation and makes awkward and sometimes crude comments.  I didn't like this guy.  I've talked about how annoying he is and how I wish he'd shut up.  So after his question, after the discussion had taken off, I turned to him and said, "Do you believe in God?"

He nodded.

Yes?  Really?  He said he was Catholic.  Sure, I have no idea of this person's life.  He may not be following Christ actively, and he may not believe in Jesus as his personal Savior.  But the person who I would have least expected to answer yes to that question...did.  My conclusion?  Don't judge a book by its cover.  Who am I to judge people at all?

Sitting on my bed tonight, I was overcome with a wow-ness.  Thank you, God, I said.  Thank you for life.  Thank you for music and stories and blasted algebra.  Thank you for philosophy, and for the opportunity to be a light.

I pray that I am a light, and that my Savior continues to make me a brighter one every day.

"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."
1 Peter 3:15

2 comments:

  1. very interesting! Being able to stand up for what you believe is important!!! I think we need to have a well routed creationist ideas with examples to back them, but since science can't prove anything you need more. A lot of atheist evolutionists say that we always just back our beliefs with "faith". Well, yes that's very true! At the end of it all it comes down to faith. Think for a moment about what evolutionists believe. They're telling us that we came from a single cell that came together by total random chance. So which is more "faith" based. Creation or Evolution? I would say evolution!

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  2. I am in the same boat as you...taking college classes while still in high school. I've been home schooled for the majority of my education and these classes have opened me up to a whole new world. I am so different from the rest of my class mates because of what I believe and stand for. My mom continues to encourage me to be 'me' and shine my light. :)

    Great post!

    Katie

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