AP LANG 4th
This I Know …Believe
Life holds numerous changes and experiences: moving, friends, family, school, high school (yes, I must give that its own category), college, careers, and affective personal choices. However, one thing in my life that has remained constant throughout is church.
Every Sunday morning, since before I can remember, has been the same. No matter where we were living, Toronto, Calgary, Philadelphia, or New York, we were always in church on Sunday mornings. When I was a little girl, church never made much sense to me. It was comprised of the same routine every week and it felt like services would last for days. Every Sunday began with Sunday School, bright and early at 9:15. Service started at 10:15 with prayer, then Psalms reading, announcements, prayer requests, prayer, memory verse recital by the children, testimonies, prayer, worship, prayer, the main message, and concluded with, yes, prayer, and benediction, at 12:30. Especially as a young child, it seemed to go on forever. However, my friends and I always found ways to pass the time. Despite the routine existing, we developed our own: whispering quietly, passing notes, doodling, memory verse recital, eating candy, and concluding with silent games such as M.A.S.H and Hangman. We sat according to age, which, at the time, left us with the front row. This location, however, never encouraged us to cease activity. On occasion, in attempt to prove ourselves to be mature, young ladies, we would sit silently through service, just as we thought our older sisters were, in the row behind our own.
Eventually, with age, and progressively moving a few rows back, this became less forced and more habit. Nothing had changed though. For ten years or more, the routine has remained relatively the same. But what is different now? I am able to not only sit silently through the whole service, but enjoy it as well. Yes, I have grown, but there’s more to it than that. There has to be. My faith. It worked. Sixteen years of my life filled with Sunday services, Sunday School, youth groups and meetings, missions trips, conferences, conventions, great mentors, leaders, and pastors, all of which focused on the same thing. Well, it worked. I believed. I believe. I believe in something, someone bigger, someone greater than the world and those who inhabit it. The Christian music, Hillsong, David Crowder Band, Chris Tomlin, the Christian youth, the Christian upbringing, all of which I surrounded myself with, had the same effect on me. It’s not that I just believe in some vague, spiritual being. My faith is defined by the clarity and strength in which I believe. However, church was not always enough for me to believe. Car accidents, family deaths, struggling relationships, all of which I couldn’t handle on my own. I had to seek comfort and hope in something, someone greater. There have also been miraculous occurrences, like a life saved, new beginnings, and amazing people brought into my life which I cannot take credit for.
One thing which I’ve learned is that God is not required to prove Himself, or His existence to me. He chooses to. It took a lot to come to this understanding, this belief. There is a difference between knowing and believing. Knowing just involves awareness. Believing requires action. I know what my faith requires of me, or better yet, I’m still learning. Either way, my belief, my faith, my trust, and my love for something, someone bigger, someone greater remains constant and fulfilling.
John 20:29 “…Blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe.”
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