Today: Saturday, December 07, 2019

The faith of a 20-something    (5/31/2008 )

From as early as I remember, I've been brought up in a Christian home. I suppose this was the start of my journey with God—although I did, at times (and still do, to some degree) stray from what is right.

The life I was leading early on was in some way connected to God. However, I had faith through my parents which, at the time, I thought was enough. But when I was in my late teens/early twenties I started to look again at the gospel—and although I can't pinpoint a particular time and place, the message finally sunk in. I made the faith I had my own!

It's great to be able to live this journey, knowing you're not alone—and never will be. Letting God guide me through; listening and, with the help of others, determining what it is that God has in store for me, even if it has been scary at times!

Being a Christian is all about love—loving God and loving our neighbours. Jesus said these were the most important things to do.

Why does my faith matter? It matters because God is my father—just as my earthy father and my relationship with him matters. He is my comforter, my conscience, and he delights in me when I please him!

Where I work, there are very few people who openly talk about faith. It's not something that, to my knowledge, many of them have—or, indeed show, through attending church. I know attending church isn't essential, but I believe we need it for fellowship; for being together as a body. Jesus said that wherever we gather in his name, he is there.

Since my father (my earthly one!) had been the chaplain at a military base, there's a tendency for people to come and speak to me about anything and everything. There, away from the majority, I see a different side to them. They talk about what they believe, and why they believe it. My simply being there for them is important, as is their knowing that what we discuss is in complete confidence.

There is some rotation in army staff on the base, as is expected as people are posted to different places. However, regardless of how long a member of staff has been there, they still know what I'm about. This isn't always easy, especially when I ‘fall off the horse', but I'm sure we know how that's corrected...

Do I promote the message of Christ? And if so, how? Yes, I do, because it really matters. How I do it is simple: I live my life in a way that I hope will make people stand up and think, “There's something different about him... what is it?”

I try to show love, kindness and integrity, so that when people (be they colleagues, friends or acquaintances) ask what that difference is, I have the simplest of answers for them—Jesus!

Pray: Lord God, you understand our aspirations, failings and fears at every stage of life, walking with us each step of the way. Help me to feel your presence in all that I do, and all that I am. Amen.

Think about: Dan isn't afraid to admit that he sometimes 'falls off the horse' - he doesn't always get it right. When he says 'we know how that's corrected', what do you think he means?

Challenge: Modern society seems to demand a high level of self-awareness - what are our highly individual strengths, talents, quirks? But we're rarely called on to be aware of our weaknesses, because we don't really like to think of ourselves negatively. For Dan, being aware of his occasional failures is important to him and keeps both him and God in the proper place. This week, write down 3 things you'd like to change about yourself - however big or small - and pray through them with God, asking for his help.

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