The words pounded through my head as my feet pounded the pavement.
“I believe in God the Father Almighty…”
It feels like yesterday in my heart and soul.
“Creator of heaven and earth…”
These thoughts crowding my mind – racing so fast, they can make you fear for your sanity sometimes.
“I believe in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son our Lord … MY Lord!”
How did I end up here? Trying to escape the cycle of bombarding thoughts, walking the streets of Brugge, Belgium, simply because I didn’t know where to go or what to do? How to quiet the noise inside my head – screaming at me from the moment I woke up until I finally found escape in sleep?
“He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried”
It had been a long journey to this moment. Months in Amsterdam, telling people about my Jesus – the one who promises freedom. All the while, crumbling inside from my own lack of freedom. Trapped in my insecurities, in my doubts, in the dysfunction I had come to see as “normal”. To set me free, God had to undo me; so here I was, walking these streets, undone.
And I remembered those days when I was a kid. Long Sundays in church, reciting a liturgy I thought was old and “dead”. They called this the “Apostle’s Creed” – it didn’t mean much to me back then – just words we said every week.
“He descended into hell. On the third day, He rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father…”
I remembered sitting in that college cafeteria, telling a wise professor that I was beyond all that now. I was exploring new ways to worship. He didn’t say much, only gently reminded me to not forget those who had gone before me – “You are standing on over 500 years of history…”
“I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic (Christian) church…”
Suddenly the scrambled thoughts started slowing down. I found myself mouthing the words, savoring each precious morsel… “the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the life everlasting”
There are many ways to worship, but in this moment, walking those old cobblestone streets, God set me free from the tyranny of the new. He brought those words to life in my heart on that day in Brugge, Belgium, and I no longer had to figure anything out – I knew. And that simple knowing quieted the screaming voices in my head.
My God showed me that as long as I clung to what I knew was true, He would lead me through what I didn’t know. Though emotions may soar to great heights and plummet to sordid depths, nothing can shake the reality of this foundation. I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER – I wanted to shout it from the rooftops… Here is where I could plant my feet and not be shaken.
In these days of confusion and fear around the world, it doesn’t take much to feel like a “wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6) Headlines scream terrifying news at us, the pundits on TV tell us what (and who) to believe, people are displaced, having to flee their homes – it’s hard to know who to follow and what to trust in anymore.
“When you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened” (Lk 21:9) I still believe in God, the Father Almighty”
We are surrounded by the constant shifting shadows of life – today I choose to plant my feet on the one thing that will never change. I still believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord”
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Mt 24:35) I still believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the life everlasting
And in the threatening waves, Jesus whispers, “Peace, be still”.