My high school French teacher challenged us one day to “write about why you believe — or don’t believe — in God.”
We were cautioned not to recite our church’s theological platform, but to give our own heartfelt reasons for our belief. All in French, of course.
Well, easier for me to translate a simple thought from the heart than any complex theological belief to French, so that part wasn’t difficult for me. And I would no doubt offend my French-speaking friends today if I tried to repeat what I wrote then, but here’s a short portion of it, in English:
“I believe in God because the sun rises and sets each day. The mountains speak loudly to me of his presence, the rivers and the valleys, more quietly…”
I struggled with that essay, because I wanted it to flow smoothly in French, and since my teacher was a native speaker, I think eventually it did. I regret I no longer have it.
My life, like most, has been a series of sunny days and stormy ones, of peaks and valleys, of mountains I couldn’t scale and oceans I couldn’t swim, along with unexpected and glorious triumphs. Perhaps small, but glorious nonetheless.
I’m grateful to Mr. Keplinger for giving us that assignment, for early on forcing us to think in two languages of our deepest-held beliefs, for whether he knew it or not, it formed a foundation for my faith over the years.
It’s simple, yes, and there are much more complex issues that crowd my mind every day. The details of my faith change year to year, but the core remains the same.
And part of the core is this:
I believe in God because the sun rises and sets every day.
Photo Credit :© Kotenko Oleksandr — Adobe Stock