I slipped under the sheets on a recent chilly night. I uncharacteristically still wore socks, so I pulled up the sheets and blanket to reach down to grab my socks and toss them on the floor. But as I quickly moved the sheets, I saw a few sparks, and I remembered many childhood nights…
It was static electricity, and it intrigued me. I’d pull the covers over my head and shift my pajamas or sheets just enough to watch some sparks. Over and over. It was mesmerizing and seemed so odd to me. Sparks caused by fabric…and in the cold…and not dangerous? (Yes, I know static electricity can be dangerous in some cases, but my limited contact wasn’t highly charged.) It was one of those childhood mysteries.
When I was growing up, I couldn’t Google or ask Alexa for quick summaries to satisfy my curiosity. I’m sort of glad about that. I enjoyed the process of curiosity. When I wondered about something, I often took a journey. I wouldn’t get my questions answered all at once. Sometimes I’d lose interest. Often, I might ask my sisters or parents. I might test theories and try to make some of the connections that made sense. I might even look in our set of encyclopedias. My curiosity journey was like a search engine that just took a bit more time.
I appreciate not having Google growing up, but I use it now that it’s available. But having to engage and choose and test through a process in my childhood has stayed. Just because I find a claim online doesn’t make it true. It also doesn’t automatically make it false. Learning requires engagement, discernment, and humility. That includes the process of growing faith.
I’ve asked and read, explored and tested. And I’ve done so repeatedly, because as I’ve grown, I consider assumptions, doubts, and truths repeatedly over time, because I have new experiences, new struggles, new connections. Faith isn’t a checkbox that’s marked once and decided for a lifetime. It’s a process. It can ebb and flow. It can be inflated or siphoned. It can be fostered or rejected.
We approach faith with curiosity or with contempt. We can look for a quick, satisfying answer or invite an journey of curiosity. As for me, It started with a spark, and I learn more every day.