The First major goal I have for 2014 is to deepen my love for faith. I have several friends who have decided faith is not their thing, and they’ve moved away from a center of spiritual things. I have other friends who dwell in faith circles as if they’re in a country club. They show up to faith meetings as a way to do business deals, meet friends they haven’t seen during the week, or maybe even expand their social circles. Still, I have a longing to know why people think they way they do, how it affects their every day lives, and how we might be able to bridge the deep divide between faiths.
I’m not actually proposing that we combine faiths, but in a vast large world, it seems to me there’s a whole lot of exploration to be done by people who live in different faith circles. I know, at least in my world, there are people who know a lot about the facts and figures of different faiths, but rarely do they actually know people who live accordingly to a different faith.
It’s almost like we’ve created these “teams” of faith that are warring against one another. We’re careful not to cross the boundaries, because we don’t want to offend someone with our version of faith. And we certainly don’t want to come across confrontational. So what remains is this little spoken respectful attitude with a surface of relationship.
One thing 2014 taught me was the deep desire for people of different traditions to explore relationship outside of our faith traditions. Imagine what might happen when we embrace the public plurality of faith while keeping respect for one another’s deep held values promoted by our faith.
Imagine: The conflicts of 2014 concerning faith would fade away!!
What might happen if Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics, and whoever else you want to add to the list, could take a moment to respect the place from where each other believes, and create conversations that reveal those most trusted places that form us into who we are.
The only way this can happen is if we are serious about learning from one another, listening to one another, and living next to one another with a high degree of respect. It can be done…
I’m forming these groups all over the country now, and am seeing exciting friendships being formed along the most interesting lines.
Let’s join together and help 2015 be less violent, less egregious, and more about respect and relationships.