Finding Faith – a modern parable

"David's Charge to Solomon" (1882), ...

Image via Wikipedia

On Saturday, I drove to Columbus to participate in a workshop on Biblical Storytelling. I’ve spent time in Columbus, but it’s been 15 years, easily, since I was last there. But I was armed with a good map, extra time, my favorite CD, and coffee, and it was a beautiful day, so I felt ready to make the journey.

The workshop was taking place at King Avenue United Methodist Church, and per my directions, I exited the freeway, turned left and found Kinnear and Olentangy River Roads. Olentangy splits, though, and being directionally challenged, I took the wrong path.

I found myself taking a very pleasant, scenic drive along Olentangy River Road. But after about 20 minutes, it occurred to me I was going the wrong way. I should have arrived at the church by now, and I hadn’t even seen King Avenue.

I backtracked, came to a gas station, and asked Erik, the young man behind the counter, where I had to go.

He said I was almost there, gave me good directions and said, “It should only take you about five minutes from here.”

Perfect! I thanked him, left, and continued on my way. I wound up back at the place where I’d gotten off the highway in front of a movie theater. It was then I noticed where I’d made my mistake. This time I chose the right way.

King Avenue itself was tricky to find and then, even counting the addresses, I wasn’t 100% sure if that huge old church I passed was the right one. It resembled a castle or small fortress. It turns out the stately building of blond stones, heavy wood doors and stained glass windows was, in fact, the right place.

I found a place to park, and pulled on the first door I came to.

Locked.

I walked around the side of the building and tried the next pair of doors.

Both locked.

At the next entrance, four doors wide, I yanked on the massive handles.

All locked.

After a three hour drive – including getting lost – I felt a little irritated. And embarrassed. I shouldn’t have this much trouble getting where I need to be. It shouldn’t be this hard. I’m smarter than that.

A young man in mirrored sunglasses, carrying a backpack and walking with purpose, passed me.

“Excuse me!” I called. “If I was the door to get into this church, where would I be?”

Even with the sunglasses on, the stillness in his face told me he was at a loss for an answer.

“I am not sure,” he replied with a thick accent. “I am not from around here. But I will wish you luck and say, ‘keep trying.'” He smiled and strode on.

I sighed, and walked around the next corner.

I’d gone almost completely around the church’s exterior to my parking space, when I came upon a large sign that said ENTRANCE and had a long red arrow pointing at the next set of doors.

I laughed. “Thanks.”

Again, two sets of doors. I pulled on the first one. Locked!

Was God trying to tell me something? Did I miss a memo?

Finally, the last door. I pulled. It opened with a whisper and a rush of cool air greeted me.

Hallelujah.

The moral of the story?

There are many paths to faith. There are many homes and fortresses and many doors. You have to try a lot of locks and get directions sometimes. But ultimately, you are shown the way to go.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Finding Faith – a modern parable

  1. Oh I love this. So true. Sometimes it is easy to give up after a few locked doors… I love how you made your point with this story. Thank you!

    • Thanks, my friend! The metaphor hit me between the ears while I was sitting in the workshop – almost laughed out loud at the irony!

      However, I’m still trying to figure out the symbolism behind the tire disintegrating on the front of my car on the way home. 😉 Nothing like changing a tire alongside a highway two hours from home in 95 degree weather!

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s