Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What I Believe

A few Sundays ago, our pastor challenged the congregation to think about what it is we believe. He didn't say, "Explain your faith," or anything like that. He just wanted us to think about it, I guess. Then, he told us to write it down.

So, for a few weeks now, I've been pondering what it is exactly that I believe. I feel like it’s such a broad topic to ponder. There’s a lot to be discussed.

I decided to go with 20 bullet points. Here is what came of that.

What do I believe?
  • There is a being that exists that wants us to suffer. Some call him Beelzebub. I don't really call him, but he and his evil give me the heebies.
  • Patience doesn't just happen. It takes work, and part of that means putting in a request to God. Often. And, it involves being slow to speak until that patience (or grace) arrives. It might not come when it's convenient, but it comes.
  • Forgiveness is much the same as patience (in practice).
  • "Forgive and forget" isn't quite as accurate as "forgive and dismiss." Part of forgiveness is learning that the party that did the inflicting might remember things differently than the party that took the blow (including the whole concept of who did the inflicting and who did the receiving). We all have ways of coping—creating alternate realities, if necessary. Some might refer to these different recollections as different “perceived truths.”
  • We can always be better than we are (there is always room for improvement) in regard to things of virtue.
  • Living simply and (mostly) under the radar can be, in fact, completely fulfilling.
  • There is rarely ever a real conspiracy. (This one took me a long time to realize, and I'm still working on this one.)
  • People can really be just as good and kind as they appear.
  • Regardless of how abrasive someone may seem, they are still a person who needs to love and be loved.
  • The heart of a young child is so pure and good. I'll admit that having my kids has made me believe harder that there is a God, and He loves us. Children are gifts.
  • Dogs, while annoying, do serve some sort of purpose. Finding out what that purpose is might be part of it. Same goes for cats. Mostly. They're partly evil, I think.
  • Getting plenty of sleep is important.
  • Laughing (for real) is important.
  • The colors of the fall are proof that God loves us. So are baby giggles, the smell of a clean baby, children laughing, the smell of freshly cut grass, and the smell of dirt just after a spring rain.
  • Thunderstorms are just mere reminders that He's there.
  • Love and sharing love is important.
  • Loving people takes work sometimes.
  • Being there is important.
  • Stuff is just stuff, and none of it really matters.
  • It is never too late to get close to your family.
Pastor Evan did say that this list may change over time. He also suggested that we revisit it now and then as well. I plan to do that. It's not a bad idea. What is it that you believe?

27Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
28Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
29Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
John 20:27-29

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