When you read scripture you can’t help but see that life is experienced. It is existential, meaning one lives in an existence. It is not simply a matter of the mind, but it includes every aspect of our humanity in all its strengths and weaknesses, in all the ups and downs of our lives and of life in this world.
Of course our humanity is weak, and we are sinners through and through. That along with the good that is present from being made in God’s image.
Life is experienced. But we don’t live solely in and certainly not by experience. We need to be rooted first and foremost in God through Jesus by the Spirit. God is our foundation, period. We also need to be grounded in scripture first, then tradition along with reason and experience. Tradition means the church, and God’s work through the church. Reason is included, indeed God appeals to our reason within and through the writings of scripture, his written word.
Frederick Buechner wrote that we need to listen to our lives. We need to pay attention. What is life teaching us? More precisely, what is God trying to teach us through our lives?
To get it down on paper is one thing, to live it out is something entirely different. Yes, we need to understand. But that understanding is going to get a jolt when we seek to live it out. In fact more often than not our understanding will be impacted. At least we will be much more humble. And likely our understanding will take on a depth not possible for us before.
Yes, we live in a world sad in many ways, along with much blessing. We need to learn to take it all in as God would grant it to us. I don’t mean in the sense the character or main characters of Ecclesiastes wanted to, wanting to experience everything under the sun. No. But we must be open to living in a true and full human existence. That is what Jesus did in becoming one of us, only then enabled to empathize fully with us, being completely human. Experiencing human weakness in being tempted in all points as we are, yet in his case never sinning.
We want to learn to live in the experience of growing closer to God. Of an ongoing life of faith, along with hope and love in and through Jesus. Yes together, and for the world.