My Walk with Jesus

How much more mysterious our spiritual journeys get the further we walk into them.

I don’t know about you, but the further I go the less I know. I am less certain but more peaceful. Things are far more complicated but far more simple.

And I hope I’m getting wiser.

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52 Responses

  1. Matt Oxley says:

    I didn’t get upset. I started crying – sitting there at work, someone had put it on Reddit/r/atheism and I just lost it…I just knew at that time that “somebody gets it”. It probably took a few days to get over the flood of memories it brought back. The silence.

    It was beautiful.

    This cartoon was my first encounter with NakedPastor…I’m glad I had it.

  2. Jane says:

    Me too David! Totally. Thanx for inspiring me remember I’m not crazy!! Sometimes your insight makes me sigh in relief.

  3. sam scoville says:

    Advent

    Only a brief celebration of victory
    is allowed the truth between
    the two long periods during which
    it is condemned as paradox and
    disparaged as trivial.

    (A. Schopenhauer)

    God’s dead.
    Prerequisite
    to alive, ho!

    Present only
    in absentia;
    absent in
    presents.

    Makes my
    heart grow
    fodder.

    Don’t know
    what I’ve got
    till it’s gone.

  4. David Waters says:

    The further we walk, the more we realize, all we have beyond the questions, is… Hope.

  5. Steve Martin says:

    Yes, faith can be lost.

    We need to be kept in faith.

    This is easily done at the shopping malls and in front of the t.v. and…wherever.

    Not.

  6. William Seabrooke says:

    Amen David; I am right there walking the same road!

  7. Yes, faith can be lost.

    We need to keep away from faith, as faith is belief in something without having any evidence to support that belief.

    This can be a long and difficult path, but once you make the initial commitment to following the evidence wherever it may take you, half the battle is won.

    Yes indeed.

  8. Hugh says:

    Moving from an old style evangelical faith to one which defies description was only possible when I realised that God is infinite and so it is impossible to know everything about Him. My old neatly packaged belief set was actually strangling my faith; I had to take the scary step outside to give that faith room to breathe and grow.

  9. Yisraela says:

    YES !!! Doubt is such a BIG part of “faithing” (walking with Jesus). John the Baptist asked if he should look for another. Yet Jesus said he was the greatest among men. Jesus doubted on the cross. Greek text makes it something he said over and over… “my god why have you forsaken me?”. Mother Theresa doubted. My thinking is as we BECOME the heart, the hands, the feet, of Jesus he becomes “invisible” to us. Perhaps because he is so one with us that we lose sight of him?? We no longer can see where we end and he begons. LOVE THIS David!!!
    Rayla

  10. yvette assem says:

    This reminds me of a gospel song…Walk with me lawd…walk with me…while I’m on this tedious journey I want Jesus to walk with me.

  11. Andrew says:

    My interpretation of the cartoon is that it was never Jesus walking beside the man in the first place. What he had was a construct created by his faith community that was given to him… as he grew, the construct faded away.

    For me, this was a good thing, because I never realized while I was in the paradigm how many horrible things I was required to believe. Now that I can let go of those things, I am more peaceful.

  12. Matt Oxley says:

    @Andrew – I’d agree, but I’d add that Jesus and God, for everyone – is merely a construct of some sort. A fantasy that we want to be true but is not.

  13. sam scoville says:

    “Merely a construct”? A Representation? I like that word better, don’t know why. Merely? Of course. For some, icons & idols. Some know the difference. Others believe in Santa Claus their whole adolt live, reconstructing (re-representing) the idea, of course, to suit their merely groan-up views. It’s true that we construct representations that suit our purpose, vision, agenda. And many if not most, we assume–ready-made, shrink-wrapped and off the shelf from the culture, custom, convention. The robes & sandals Jesus’s of David’s cartoons, for ex. Or God with a halo. Etc. Constructs for conversation. True for our convenience. But, as you say Matt: not.

  14. Marc says:

    Lets reply with these words of confirmation:

    Real unity comes not through our understanding but through our not understanding.
    Our deepest purpose is to know God as Father through Jesus the Son, guided by the Holy Spirit of truth.
    Within this is there no time for standing still by found treasures, to built palaces of knowing sure around them
    Every treasure found is a stimulation to start seeking for other discoveries,
    Because we can never know fully and can never know Him fully, not even think about understanding Him fully.
    There is no time for boxes in live, maybe only for oases
    to catch breath for a moment.
    By this we are all stumbling pilgrims on the Way, who know something, but do not know much more, and by this we are all on the Way Home together where the adventure continues on the other side of eternity.

  15. jackie b says:

    Perhaps the last frame shows that the walking man no longer needed to see someone beside him, that what he believed in was a given, that maybe peace is enough.

  16. Luke says:

    love the idea that Andrew brings up: the idea of a figment or constructed Jesus given to you by religion/faith system/denomination. How it is that that fades away, leaving you open and vulnerable to the Living God.

    As Robert Capon puts it: “I want you to set aside the notion of the Christian religion, because it’s a contradiction in terms. You won’t learn anything positive about religion from Christianity, and if you look for Christianity in religion, you’ll never find it. To be sure, Christianity uses the forms of religion, and, to be dismally honest, too many of its adherents act as if it were a religion; but it isn’t one, and that’s that. The church is not in the religion business; it is in the Gospel-proclaiming business. And the gospel is the good news that all man’s fuss and feathers over his relationship with God is unnecessary because God, in the mystery of the Word who is Jesus, has gone and fixed it up Himself. So let that pass.” – Between Noon and Three, p. 167

  17. Debra says:

    No longer is Christ just walking along beside you. He now resides within you. No longer do we need all the answers, just childlike belief.
    My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
    ~ Galations 2:20
    It is Christ IN you, the hope of glory. That’s what I see in the cartoon.
    You have the mind of Christ David.
    What more do we need?

  18. Dawn says:

    I find that the bottom right panel is the one that fits me the most and makes me the most happy.

  19. Brigitte says:

    “C.S. Lewis when speaking about why prayers are not always answered the way we want them to be said that in his experience it was often the new Christian’s prayers that were answered rather than those with a mature faith. He suggests that as people grow in faith they are sent to defend far more desperate posts with far less help.”

    Jesus never said he’d be present like a phantom or like a ever happy feeling, or talking in my head. He specifically said how he would be present. Those are the means and we believe in them whether we feel it or not, whether we are having a nervous breakdown or peaceful. It is his bare promise to which we cling and this is faith.

    I felt sad reading Godless Monster’s blanket statements about “faith”. Faith is the essential ingredient in satisfying relationships. I trust that someone will be there for me. I trust that they care. I trust that they are faithful. I trust that they will forgive me the things I repent of and the things I forget to repent of or don’t understand. I trust that the relationship will hold.

    Sometimes this faith is misplaced and this is a serious thing, very disappointing and hurtful, not the way it is supposed to be. In the church we try to live in peace and share the peace. I am sorry that so many here have been disappointed. I have been disappointed in church, too. When things go wrong we seek the Lord where he said he would be. And then I trust in that whether I feel anything or not. Sometimes we are too sad to feel anything. Sometimes we are too happy to care. We are weird. Feelings are transient and change quickly.

    I love Luke’s quote. Have to get to that author some time.

  20. @Brigitte,
    Do you honestly not understand the difference between faith and trust?

  21. Nancy T. says:

    @TGM

    To be fair, ‘faith’ and ‘trust’ as well as the “I believe in you” are the types of comments that get interchanged a lot in general human interactions. Imprecise, and a bit sloppy, but I do believe that it should be kept in mind.

    I think an important question is, what is it, that one has faith in? The word ‘faith’ itself, in theological discussion, has a number of meanings, including ‘the faith’ meaning the belief in a set of doctrines.

    @David,

    Love this one. I like the idea that I have ‘faith’ in the process, which is important for those of us who have had self-doubt/fear interfere with our journey. Also, I like the idea that belief can be about not-seeing, and also about more, or less, than Jesus. (I’ve been reading some Buddhist stuff lately, so that probably colours my ‘full/empty’ thinking at the moment.

  22. Steve Martin says:

    Faith and trust, when it comes to God, are pretty much the same thing.

  23. @Nancy T,
    “To be fair, ‘faith’ and ‘trust’ as well as the “I believe in you” are the types of comments that get interchanged a lot in general human interactions.”
    That sure doesn’t make it right, and it’s absurd to rely on “all the kids are doing it” as an excuse or “get out of jail free” card. It’s not.

    “Imprecise, and a bit sloppy, but I do believe that it should be kept in mind.”
    “Imprecise, and a bit sloppy”? Really? Try “gross misrepresentation” instead. That’s a more accurate a description of what’s going on here.

    When people make outlandish claims and then butcher language or distort words meanings in order to support those claims, it shouldn’t be “kept in mind.” It’s not excusable and shouldn’t be overlooked just because it might offend someone to point out their gross error or misrepresentation.
    When folks enter into debate and discussion on topics in a public forum, they should be prepared to be held accountable for what they write and say. One can either validly support an argument or they cannot. Making allowances for inaccuracy or misrepresentation is not the way to encourage fruitful dialogue and civil exchange.
    Faith and trust are most certainly NOT the same thing. They are not interchangeable.

  24. fishon says:

    I see that the “dialogue and civil exchange” policeman is at it again.

    The cop: Faith and trust are most certainly NOT the same thing. They are not interchangeable.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faith
    Definition of FAITH
    1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
    2a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
    3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs
    — on faith
    : without question
    Origin of FAITH
    Middle English feith, from Anglo-French feid, fei, from Latin fides; akin to Latin fidere to trust — more at bide
    First Known Use: 13th century

    Oh wait, that’s right—–you werent’ talking to me, the idiot again. Dang! Ah man, come on. Crawl out of you hole.

  25. sam scoville says:

    There there. Godless Monster: there, there! All is well and all is wall and all manner of things is well. Rest you merry. No thing you dismay.

  26. Mar says:

    Godless Monster … you’re very very sure you’re right … you remind me of those with different conclusions than you that are very very sure they’re right, and willing to judge and condemn those who believe differently from them … it communicates a strong desire to demean those who have come to different conclusions than you have … you communicate your beliefs as “truth” … they do the same …

  27. Anyone (even an angry troll)can go to Webster and demonstrate that words have common roots or origins. That is only part of the story and can be quite misleading. To those remotely interested in such things, try obtaining and consulting an actual etymological dictionary. I’m sure Mr. Sam Scoville can refer one to you. I use Eric Partridge’s ‘Origins’.
    At any rate, in regards to the faith vs trust issue, this person says it well enough for me to want to link to it here:
    http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15399

    @sam scoville – for one who hangs on every nuance and every syllable uttered or written, surely you of all people can empathize?
    All is not well in this world. I rest merry regardless.

  28. @Mar,
    You are very, very, very sure I’m wrong. 🙂
    And…you are a mind reader!
    What a wonderful and delightful trait to have.
    I look forward to receiving much wisdom and insight from future interactions with you.

  29. sam scoville says:

    Godless: I empathize (I’m pathetic; sociopathetic). Just trying to keep IT in play. This is micro-cosmic, don’t you agree: our contention, opposition, difference. We’re like the blind wisemyn around the elephant, each holding on to a unique part of the beast and insisting it’s the “whole.” How can I deny my experience? How can I accommodate or fit in with yours? That’s the name of the game, true? All is well and all is well whether I like it or not. Elephant don’t care..

  30. “All is well and all is (not) well whether I like it or not. Elephant don’t care..”

    And the beat goes on… 🙂

  31. sam scoville says:

    Ah–the smiley face frames IT. Makes all the difference in the whirl. We can fightclub and edify and a good time had by all! Don’t get not better than that. Are we agreed Agree-able?

  32. “Are we agreed Agree-able?”
    Sure, what the hell. Why not? 🙂

  33. Luke says:

    oh the olde “please define the word faith” fight. A blogging buddy posted about this in: http://triangulations.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/faith-defined/

    it’s a multifaceted word. faith has a element of trust in it. believer and nonbeliever should be aware of how they use this word.

  34. fishon says:

    TGM,
    I love it how you, who made the decision not to talk to the troll again does it by sneaking in the back door. Just can’t help your self.

    YOU: Anyone (even an angry troll)can go to Webster and demonstrate that words have common roots or origins.
    —-Yes, I know, Me bad–using a dictionary.

    YOU: That is only part of the story and can be quite misleading.
    ——“can be…misleading.” Ah, but it isn’t in this case, is it?

    YOU:To those remotely interested in such things, try obtaining and consulting an actual etymological dictionary.
    ——-Hehehe, then you send us of to:http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15399
    ——-Yea, Zzyzx is a dandy. I’ll take the Merriam-Webster’s over Zzyzx.

    I TOOK YOUR ADVICE and went to an etymological dictionary—–though I am sure it is not of the intellectual order you would approve of::www.etymonline.com/
    faith
    mid-13c., “duty of fulfilling one’s trust,” from O.Fr. feid, foi “faith, belief, trust, confidence, pledge,” from L. fides “trust, faith, confidence, reliance, credence, belief,” from root of fidere “to trust,” from PIE base *bheidh- (cf. Gk. pistis; see bid). For sense evolution, see belief. Theological sense is from late 14c.; religions called faiths since c.1300.

  35. sam scoville says:

    “But it’s not about the trash,” says the wife to the husband after ongoing acrimony over who took out the garbage last.

  36. @Luke,
    Thanks for the link, an interesting post, to be sure.
    I understand how and where faith and trust might be confused, but they are different words with different meanings. Yes, faith would likely imply trust (and not necessarily trust in that object in which one had faith – “I trust the preacher, therefore I have faith in God.”), however, it does not follow that trust derives from faith.
    We can look at faith all day long and proclaim that it is similar to trust, but once we put the definition of the word trust next to faith, the similarities fade.
    A .45 round is similar in appearance, make-up and construction to a 9mm round. They even have the same roots in history and operate on identical principles of science and engineering. Regardless, they are not the same round and cannot be used interchangeably.

  37. sam scoville says:

    Straining at gnats. The Godless-issue initially: don’t be trusting faith. Avoid faith. Stay away from faith. Trust only your “evidence”–or someone else’s evidence whom you trust. Never been to Brazil but believe in it because so many have had first-hand evidence and reported on it, and I’m a trust worthy guy. Faith don’t makes sense to me: nonsense is what faith is–or no sense at all. That’s it’s value, and what distinguishes it from belief. What good is faith if it made common sense for crying out loud?I can believe my senses. No problem We’re not going to get on the same pager here Words and etymologies notwithstanding. “Neither logic nor sermons convince,” says Walt Whitman. And he’s right. It’s not about the words. It’s about the trash.

  38. Luke says:

    A .45 and a 9mm are animate objects and are solid in form and function. Language is not. Words are fluid, ever evolving things. The word “gay” meant something else in 1900 than it does now. Your metaphor doesn’t stand.

    A closer metaphor would be that a .45 bullet can be put into a Colt or a Beretta. There’s differences in the casing of the gun, but the question is: Did you hit what you’re aiming at?

    Faith has something to do with trust. These words are linked in meaning somehow. There’s differences and similarities in the word (see Fishon’s December 1, 2011 | 2:14 am comment) yet the meaning being communicated in the word “faith” is the target.

    The meaning is the point, sometimes that meaning’s target is a feeling of trust, sometime’s it’s loyalty, sometimes it’s a system of belief, sometimes it’s all the above.

  39. @Luke,
    I understand your criticism of my analogy. Good enough. I’ll back off from that “off-the-cuff” analogy.
    In regards to words and language being fluid, that is my point when I state that while trust and faith may have common roots and share similarities, they do not mean the same thing right now in all circumstances. And that takes to CONTEXT…
    Context means weighs heavily in this discussion, and the context in which Brigitte was throwing those terms around, it was unmistakeably a misuse/misunderstanding of the word trust.

  40. @Luke,
    “And that takes to CONTEXT…
    Context means weighs heavily in this discussion,”
    SHOULD READ:
    “And that takes us to CONTEXT…
    Context weighs heavily in this discussion,”
    Excuse the typos…

  41. Luke says:

    so you’re saying Bridgette didn’t hit what she was aiming at… or used a shotgun when she should have used a .45?

    couldn’t resist 😉

  42. Sarah says:

    TGM- Hope all is well. I’m right up there with you about faith and trust being totally different things. Totally.

    I trust myself and have faith in- yes you guessed it – myself.

    I am alone and glorious.

    Take care all,

    Sas

  43. @Luke,
    “so you’re saying Bridgette didn’t hit what she was aiming at… or used a shotgun when she should have used a .45? “
    I walked right into that one.
    Roger that, sir!

  44. @Sarah,
    Doing well, hope the same for you! 🙂
    Imagine if all of the energy being spent by some folks here here rationalizing and dodging reality was used for more productive purposes.
    Not having to live in a constant state of cognitive dissonance is liberating on so many different levels.
    You’re glorious..but not alone. 🙂

  45. nakedpastor says:

    i’m “with” you sarah. ain’t that glorious?

  46. fishon says:

    The Godless Monster
    December 1, 2011 | 8:53 pm
    Imagine if all of the energy being spent by some folks here here rationalizing and dodging reality was used for more productive purposes.
    —–Does that include you, TGM? I spent a really unproductive day today. Cut down a christmas tree. I know, I know, it is a terrible slaughter of innocent life. But then I did cut it down at a tree farm, so I helped the economy.

    Then I wasted my time out on a friend’s ranch looking at mule deer. 57–with 13 bucks. Oh yea, a few wasted minutes in this blog. Man, what a lousy day.

  47. nakedpastor says:

    actually fishon that sounds like a great day. why were you scoping mule deer? is the season opening soon? ah… i miss deer hunting.

  48. fishon says:

    Ah, it was a great day. No hunting; the season is over. Pictures, not bullets. I passed up 4 small bucks opening day, and of course never saw an other buck. Our season is only ten days, in Eastern oregon. No big deal though. I don’t care if I every kill one again. It is just the going that I like. Heck, I don’t know if I can hit one anymore. I shot a single-shot .06, Ruger #1, but not the shot I use to be. I think I still have you e-mail. I’ll send you a couple pictures.

  49. fishon says:

    sent 6 pics to you. hope they made it. used the old address that I used to send you pics a year or so ago.

  50. Mike says:

    The magic fades with time. I know it did for me.

  51. nakedpastor says:

    they are spectacular photos. i especially love the first two with what looks to be frosty grass with the buck and two does. wow. well done!

  52. fishon says:

    I have a field camera set up. I’ll have to send you some of those pics. Deer, Elk, Coyotes. Have a pic of a Golden Eagle over my coyote bait. No idea where he came from?