Take care and be diligent in guarding yourselves, that you do not forget those things which your own eyes have seen. Do not forget them as long as you live, and teach them to your children and your children’s children.
History repeats itself. We all know that, don’t we? It seems to be a common thing among humanity. For generations upon generations, we seem to need to learn the same lessons over and over again. If only we had a script to live by…oh wait, we tried that. Scripture. We tried writing everything down. It took thousands of pages, but at least we can all look at the same document, follow the same path, obey the same laws, right? Oops, guess that didn’t work. How many religions are there? How many interpretations are there? The best question is probably – How many people are there? – because each human will see and hear the message from their own experience, their own mind, and their own heart.
Yet, the spiritual life begs us to keep growing as individuals, as communities. How do we do that? I believe the most powerful method is by telling our stories to one another. Sharing our understandings and experiences of faith with one another. To me, that’s what Scripture is, the faith of our ancestors, their experience of the holy. It may not look like ours as each generation experiences the world with different surroundings, different circumstances, different joys and different struggles, but I believe that the truth they were seeking is the same truth we look for today.
To me, that’s the power of Scripture. The truth remains the same, the human journey is the same. We are all looking for hope in the struggle, guidance for living abundant lives, and a place to celebrate the joys that are so beautiful we can’t put words to them. I think the challenge for us today is not to simply disregard the stories of another – no matter how many years have passed – but to look at truth through another’s eyes. It will challenge our own vision, and help us to deepen our own faith. I believe, then, we will be able to live well into the holiness of our creation. We will be able to live well into our authentic selves. We will be able to live well as examples of the incredible and unending love that God offers the whole world.
Maybe today, we can hear another’s story, or read another’s story, and see how our own lives can benefit from their experience of faith.