Faith Journey, what road are you on?

Last week on Wednesday, I had to go to Chamberlain to meet with the South Dakota UCC Conference’s Committee on Ministry. It is a formality to be licensed to give the sacraments in a church of our denomination. I was told earlier that anyone can preach and actually do a funeral, but in order to baptize or administer communion, we need to be licensed by the Committee. It is a fairly painless process, at least it was for me. The chairperson of the group is the pastor of the church in Mobridge, of which we are currently members, something we need to change very soon.

I am only bringing this up because the big question they asked was sort of what I expected, but didn’t really prepare an answer because I figured it would just come to me. Not really a good idea. I got through it, but I realized afterwards that I hadn’t really told them much. Their question was: “Tell us about your faith journey.” Ah, um, hmm, well.

I don’t have one of those “Ah ha” moments. I am not someone who made it all the way to skid row–saw the light–and came back to lead others to the road to salvation. I have always believed. I had good Sunday School teachers, wonderful Bible School experiences, a great learning time during confirmation and youth group, and even though I was a bit wild in high school and college, I always knew that being part of the church was important to me.

In fact for anyone in a Ladies Aide group reading this, I will tell you that when I was in high school and the ladies allowed me to help in the kitchen, it was the best thing they could have done. Letting me feel ownership and part of the workers was really important. Don’t shoo the children or the young people away. I was a youth leader later with my husband James, but I wasn’t nearly as good as he was. I was too bossy. He knew how to pull them in with fun and tasks that they enjoyed.

Where am I now on this journey? I think that I am part way down this path, but I know that every step is easier because of all the experiences of the past. Without the lessons of writing weekly reports at the Children and Adolescent Unit school or articles for the Prairie Pioneer, I wouldn’t be able to just sit down and do what needs to be done. Without the stress of dealing with young people in class and in sports, I wouldn’t appreciate listening to the stories of those I visit at the Care Center in Eureka. It is refreshing to see that life continues beyond the rat race of youth and middle age. I need to listen more carefully to their stories, especially those who have reached or are near 100.

Last Saturday James, Paulina and I attended the funeral of James’ Uncle Elmer. I am always so separated about his family and my family, and I was struck quite firmly (not really–just figuratively) by one of his cousins. She is a lady that is really a lady. She is also the spitting image of her mother, and I thought so much of that woman. Anyway, Marlin Faye found me to say Hi, and not just Hi, but, “Hi cousin.” She reminded me that when we marry into the family we become part of it, and we need to embrace that. I guess I have learned something in my old/middle age, and I better start embracing it. Elmer was 89, and now there is only one uncle left on his father’s side.

Anyway, I just wanted to share these thought. Seems we take stock of things from time to time, but do we think about our faith journey very often? Perhaps it would be a good idea of think of it when we clean out the closet or the pantry or when we change the batteries on the smoke detectors or the filters on the furnace. How often do we assess where we stand on that road to Damascus to Bethlehem or to Calvary?

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. christinelaennec
    Feb 28, 2014 @ 15:24:59

    Very interesting. I do think about my faith journey, especially so since having children and trying to be involved with theirs to some extent. The older I get, the more I can see that I’ve changed my mind over the years about a number of things, but that certain core beliefs have remained since early childhood. I owe a great debt to my grandparents in terms of my faith, and I think of them almost every day although it’s been many years since they were alive.

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    • lucindalines
      Feb 28, 2014 @ 17:16:07

      Thanks so much for sharing that Christine. Interesting that you talk about your grandparents, I will have to keep that in mind. My mother was greatly influenced by her grandfather.

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  2. glenda zimmerman
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 12:06:10

    You also had an incredible mother who knew the Bible and quoted it often. She, too, deserves a lot of the credit for your faith. Remember, train up a child in the way that they should go and when they are old, they will not depart from it. Just saying….

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