My faith revolves around three primary principles: growth, relationship and love.
Growth: Like trees, our lives takes on different forms throughout the different seasons of life. There are seasons of joy and sorrow, and even times of destruction where our very roots are being ripped up along with times of renewal. Trees grow and change as they experience the loss and growth of leaves from a small seed to towering heights. Trees with their seasons of growth changes serve as powerful symbols of our life in Christ, which take on different forms throughout the different seasons.
Within each life there will always be growth and change. Every book one reads and each person one meets impacts who we are. Our ability to reflect upon our Scriptures, traditions, reason, and experiences provide us room for growth. Growth is not limited to our physical size or age and takes place throughout our lives.
Relationship: Life must be lived within the context of relationships and can be seen in three parts. 1) Our relationship within the local and global community. 2) Our relationship to a tight knit community of friends and family. 3) Our relationship in the community of God.
· Local and Global – We live in a community that is both local (directly around us) and global (across seas and continents). How we interact within these two communities is very important. Our individual actions have the ability to impact not only ourselves but those within our community. What we say, buy, and even recycle impacts our local and global community.
· Friends & Family – Our friends and family, those whom we spend the most time with, help define who we are. They challenge and motivate us. They spark and encourage growth and change within us – and we likewise do the same in them.
· God – The relationship we have with God builds and strengthens who we are. As Christians this relationship must inform how we interact within the other two communities. The community of God is truly the backbone of how and why relationships flourish. The time we spend developing and cultivating our communion with God will transcend throughout the communities and relationships we are a part of.
Love: God is Love, and as followers of Christ – being filled with the Spirit, we must live our lives in such a way that love is overflowing. In the life of the Christian, love is the blood running through our veins giving meaning to the previous two principles. Living within relationship is only significant because love is visible throughout. Growth simply has meaning because love provides relevance.
The relational community of God revolves around love. As stated before, growth and change happen because of those we are in contact with. The very being of a relationship is providing opportunities to inform and be informed. It is through this understanding that God (being Love) impacts us, which in return impacts those within our communities; friends, families, local and global communities.
My faith informs all of my life. Because love, God’s love, lives – I will continue to walk in relationship with Him and those he cares about; each day striving to live by the greatest commandment: to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength – and my neighbors as myself.