“You are how you act, not just how you believe”-Mitch Albom, Have a Little Faith
This quote struck a nerve in me. We as a society have awakened and progressed socially in various aspects during my lifetime alone. Still, I must wonder, how many of us truly act in the manner in which we believe?
I believe in equality for all. I believe we are all created equal. The strong, weak, intellects, athletes, every creed, race and kind known on earth. Equality. Then I find myself acting otherwise. I don’t judge based on one’s social status or choices, but I do judge. I have gossiped, I have found myself engaged in conversation that is unbecoming at best. I certainly have been judgmental for no warranted reason. I paint myself in one light and have found that I may be looking at myself through a lens of obscurity.
I set out on a spiritual journey of sorts this year. I find a need, a calling to not only understand my faith, but to adhere it to my daily living. I was not baptized nor was I brought up in a family that attended church regularly. My step-father insisted on Christmas Eve candle-lit service every year and that was the most diligence exemplified regarding the church in my upbringing. I have attended our local churches and sought counsel from a few pastors. I have listened to sermons that touched me and others that have flown over my head with their reference to biblical verse. I have been offered every kindness and acceptance within our local parishes and still have yet to find where I feel I belong. Could it be that I don’t belong in a house of the Lord, or that I simply refuse to adhere to the discipline it would require? I feel it is ostensibly the latter.
I read recently that religion is more than faith, it’s ritual also. Not only weekly worship, but morning prayer, evening prayer, fasting, communion, whatever ones denomination practices. I assuredly do not apply these to my life on a daily, weekly or even yearly basis so how is it that I cast a shadow of judgement on those that do attend worship weekly? I have peered down my nose and labeled others as six-day sinners and a one-day saint, when really those that I am referring to are taking the initiative to be present in their faith, at least weekly.
Society is now inflicted with the information age, we hide behind computer screens, tablets and phones. We check-in with our social media daily but not our God. We make and take time to scan our Facebook and Twitter feeds but not the time to say Grace before a meal. Is it that we no longer have faith, or have we as a society become idle in our conviction of faith?
When did worship become embarrassing? When did we decide it uncool to share our spiritual idealism with others and seek guidance from our neighbors? Did we get so busy in our laziness that we cast God aside? Have we become such an indifferent society that we find our social media a more necessary activity than participating in our faith?
I do not have any of the answers to my own questions, I am just another roving soul seeking security and love from my God. I will continue in my quest for a place of worship, I may have already found it and must simply apply myself in showing up. I will hope for understanding from others and I will practice returning the kindnesses and considerations I have been blessed with.
I urge all to take a moment to acknowledge the correlation between ones beliefs and actions. Our beliefs are what makes us who we want to be, our actions make us who we are.