I looked it up and sure enough, this is a thing. Before you all go to check out the website, here are some I found. There are the odd ones… “Fortune cookie reads, that wasn’t chicken.” “I love you she lied.” I liked the inspirational ones: “Three years after birth, he hears.” “My dads met at Bible camp.” And my favorite so far…”Wind blows. Sails full. Journey begins.”
In many ways this last “story,” describes our experience lately here at Eden Prairie UMC. The Wind of God blows… Our sails are filling up… our faith journey begins. I know that is more than six words, but you get the point.
I was thinking about this six-word story thing last night at confirmation. It was “pull the questions out of the hat night.” This is when I ask the confirmation gang to each write down a couple of questions… any question they want to ask me. We put the questions in a hat and then pull them out one by one. They agree to keep things I say in the room, but to let me use their questions in public.
A few questions stood out this year: These two seemed a bit more academic but important. “Do you think the crusades were justified, excluding the fourth?“ “Are gospel books rejected from the official bible when it was created as the canon, words of God?” There were a few that were a bit current…“How do our beliefs tie into our society?” “What do you think is so special about this year in church compared to other years?” And the question I get every year… “Why do we have to be confirmed?” A couple were in the category of you have to be there to know why they are asked: “Why do we have dumb dumbs in confirmation?” and “Why the bell thing?”
And then there was “If you were to write a thesis statement about faith, what would you want people to know about your understanding of God? When they read me that question, my mind immediately went back to the idea of a story in six words. You see the thing I try to do in confirmation is not to get across a lot of information. I try my best to communicate a few things that just might stick. This year they are…”There is nothing you can do to make God love you less.” And “Heaven is not a place but is God’s kind of time.” I thought this question gave me an opportunity to add one more.
So it was quiet for a few moments… really it was… this time is fantastic… and I said, "God never ever leaves us alone." I believe that!
I went on to explain that my understanding of a relationship with God means a lot of things, but what it comes down to is that I believe…. When everyone and everything else has either eluded us or run as far away from us as they can get… (and at some time in every lifetime, they will do just that)….God will stand beside us….believing in God means I will never, not even after I die, be alone.
What might your faith boil down to in six words? It might be a good thing to try out. Or maybe today you could start by throwing your questions in God’s hat and listen to what happens.
Keep the Faith,