Friday, July 8, 2016

Faith Expressions

Every four years the Olympics happens. However, in order to be selected to the team, an athlete has to compete at the trials. Usually, for Track and Field, the top 3 in each event makes the team.

Allyson Felix is attempting to do what hasn't been done in a while at the Olympics - run the 200 and the 400, but first, she had to make the team. During the finals of the 400, she seemed to be in a bit of trouble. But then on the homestretch, in the last 100, she found another gear, passed everyone and finished first. As she crossed the line, she smiled, mouthed, "Thank you Lord," and raised her hands.

The race in the women's 100 was intense- English Gardner was one of the favorites to make the team but not the favorite to win. As they came across the line, English Gardner leaned first,but because it was so close she had to wait awhile to be declared the winner. As she was walking around the track, emotion overtook her and she went to child's pose on the track and started to pray out loud. "Thank you Jesus, O God I praise you, thank you Jesus....." With tears and emotion, she kept praying. Surprisingly, it was all captured on tape.

Two different expressions of faith on the world stage, both sincere, both as a result of persevering and winning. Our faith expressions are indicative of our relationship with the Faithful One. They also reaffirm our faith and strengthen us. Our faith expressions don't only show up in victory, but oftentimes during the minutiae and trials of just living. We nurture our faith in different ways - some take time daily early in the morning to spend time with God; some walk or run while praying; some journal; some wait until the wee hours of the morning to meditate and pray. Some of us are loud, vocal and emotional (like English Gardner) and some of us are quiet (like Allyson Felix).

In marriage, you have an opportunity to see your partner's faith up close and personal and I find this to be one of the beauties and benefits of marriage. Your spouse's expression of faith may look different than yours due to temperament and personality - but don't let that become a stumbling block, instead look at their lives and see the difference their expression of faith makes. In marriage when you both are working on building your faith it's a recipe for success. It's a guarantee of a firm foundation so that no matter what comes you can handle it. Once you have the same faith, don't force your spouse to live out their faith as you would. 

Having a firm foundation in our marriages and families impacts the way we interact with society. With so much violence, hatred and fear so close to home, it is imperative that our faith is strong and that we are not fearful of expressing it. With all the racial turmoil in America, one of the first things I do is hold on to my faith and express it. My faith and its expression provides wisdom and courage to know how to navigate these times and what I can do to make a difference. It may start small but it will grow.

Whatever faith you are it will be expressed in your day to day. As a Christian, it will show up in your speech, your actions, your thoughts, your behaviors, as your faith is intricate to you. So live accordingly and walk worthy of the vocation to which you are called.

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.....Ephesians 4:1 [KJV]

How do you express your faith? 

1 comment:

  1. I've never thought of a married couple having "the same faith" because different people will have different experiences, triggers, stimuli and reactions . . . often to the "same" thing. For example, facing the same challenge might drive one partner closer to God and the other further away. It can only be hoped that the individual journeys a couple is on lead them to a place of togetherness . . . in faith.


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