Luke 12:28 ESV
From the Jar
I’d like to think I have faith to move mountains, but when I’m being totally honest with myself (and God) I have good days and bad days when it comes to having great faith.
I used to beat myself up about it.
But then years ago my Spiritual Director told me to quit stressing out about it.
I thought about that a lot and I realized that when I spend a great deal of time thinking about ways I fail to believe, I’m focusing on failing to believe.
It becomes a reap what you sow thing.
When I sow seeds on failing to believe, I reap failing to believe.
I knew in order to turn that around I would need to be proactive about practicing what I believe.
In Luke 12:28 we read, “But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!”
The first thing I needed to start practicing and believing was that God really does love me.
Luke 12:28 is a perfect example in logic: If God clothes the grass in the field just for today, then you will be clothed with greater love and care.
We need to believe that God loves us and will care for us with great love and care!
The problem I face is that I want the results to be instant. I don’t want to wait for God to act. I don’t like waiting.
I’ve said for years that Americans are cowboys. One of my grandfathers traveled West in a covered wagon when he was a boy. They were hunter gatherers. When they homesteaded land in the West they cut down trees to build their home.
He knew how to shoot and dress what they ate for dinner. He also knew how to fish for dinner.
As a boy he learned how to support the family when his father became ill and died while they lived in the wide open West.
My grandparents were all born at the beginning of the 1900’s. Nothing was instant then. Provision was from the land. They knew how to survive. They were cowboys.
As time passed life drastically changed but the stories in my family remained part of who we are.
We are a doing people.
When I took Communication and Culture in college I learned that there are cultures that are ‘being’ people.
At the time I thought that was fascinating. Knowing how a group of people who have similar stories respond from generation to generation changed how I view my people and their people.
In today’s society, people from a doing culture define themselves by what they DO. At a social event one of the ways they identify themselves is by saying where they work and what they DO there. Doing people generally solve problems in a linear way from point A to point B.
People from a being culture define themselves by relationships and geography. Once again at a social gathering one of the ways they identify who they are is by telling what people group or tribe they come from. They would also tell where their people lived. Being people solve problems in a circular manner looking for a pattern of relationships (https://www.comminit.com/fragile-contexts/content/do-culture-vs-be-culture) .
It seems like a small difference, but it’s very relevant to how we interact with each other in the workplace and in a social setting.
You’ll notice that when I looked at this scripture it was from a linear perspective.
A person from a being culture would see the relationships in a circle. Look at how the concepts relate to each other. So, God clothes the grass. He brings it to life and then it dies. God brings a person to life and cares for them and the circle of life ends. Believe in God’s capability and power.
As people from various cultures interact we need to be aware of our differences. We need to learn from each other. When we become aware of our differences we see new ways of looking at concepts, like faith. When I looked at faith from a perspective of a continuous flow of life, it felt like the ‘onness’ or the accountability isn’t on me. It makes me realize that God is in charge of the process of belief.
I don’t know…but it helped me to realize that all I need to do is keep my eyes on God and trust Him. Once I relied on God, my faith grew.
Sometimes it helps me to think about how people who don’t think like me solve faith issues.
I worked with a very diverse group of people during my last years in the workplace. At one point, my 4 person cubicle had a Christian who grew up in the U.S. (that was me), a Jewish fellow who grew up in the U.S., a Muslim woman who grew up in Bosnia, and a Buddhist fellow who grew up in Vietnam. We were quite a crew. I grew to love them and I loved learning about our differences.
I learned more about life from them than I ever thought possible. I grew as a person because I knew them.
They helped me to see there is great value in our diversity.
I was by far the oldest person in the group. They thought it was funny that my story included having cowboys as part of my heritage. I believe they grew from knowing me and I grew from knowing them and that blessed me immensely.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Differences
Consider how thinking about scripture in a different way can enrich your faith journey.
In God, Deborah