Sunday, September 22, 2013
I most likely have learned more this past year than I could have squeezed in my four years at college. In saying that, I wouldn't take back one moment of each of those days. To gain your own Faith is something that shouldn't be taken lightly or without consideration. We've all grown up in a set of some sort of beliefs, religion, ideas, but to step outside of that and gain your own thoughts about life is a responsibility we owe ourselves. How can we live what we speak if we don't fully believe what we're living for. And to fully believe what we are living for takes experience, takes knowledge, takes honesty and vulnerability with our own selves. Unfortunately growing up, it hasn't always been the easiest environment to question things outside the box. I am absolutely grateful for where I was brought up, the church I went to, as well as the college I enrolled myself in. After graduation was the first time for me to leave an environment with a Christian structure and view. Even being in New York, I kept myself hidden from anything else outside these walls as well (not that that was a bad choice). The moment I stepped outside of these comforts of belief that had surrounded me from the beginning of my existence, I began to finally think for myself. It's sad to think that many people are afraid of this concept. That possibly in questioning their faith or beliefs God might be disappointed in your curiosity. This here is really the opposite of God's heart for us. I think he would rather us turn from him for awhile rather than growing up taking the food we are fed, eating it, and not fully understanding the nutrients we are digesting. Its like living a religious life, going through the motions never taking whats actually being offered to you, and God is anything but religion, he's a relationship. I had the privilege of making a new friend through this expedition. At first I was very cautious because of our differences, but then learned the value he brought to my life. Despite not being on the same note in every area of our beliefs, we somehow brought harmony to each other. I can't fully speak for him, but I know how much he truly impacted my life. To have freedom to speak in a place of openness and vulnerability, given to me from someone who accepted what I had to say with no judgment gave me a glimpse of what God has been wanting me to do with him. I would hope that we could all be this open with one another, especially those of us that call ourselves Christians. The fact that I had felt more love and freedom with someone that wouldn't title himself as that was confusing to me, But a title can and never will determine the Heart of a man. That is to be determined through his actions, not through words that are spoken. Zane in Hebrew means God is gracious. This word means so much to me, not just because it's a crazy cool name, but because the weight of that word is something we should carry out in all our relationships. Grace is easily forgotten when the mind set of religion creeps in, but lets not forget God's grace for us is where it all began, so Who are We.
Photo Credit Toni Frissell