Twenty-four hours ago...
24 hours ago right now, I was in the minivan making my way home from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. Having flown back from White Plains, New York. After having spent the weekend in Ashford, Connecticut leading a women's retreat for the church I attended when we lived in CT. It was a fantastic weekend.
Laughter. Games. Long talks late at night. Tears. Stories. Hugs. Encouragement. Eating M&Ms and those almond clusters I crave so often. Singing. Reading and discussing some passages in the Bible. Pondering together some of the questions Jesus asked his friends and followers while he walked on earth.
"What do you want me to do for you?
Do you want to be healed?
Why are you crying?
Who are you looking for?
What are you talking about as you walk along the way?"
But the main question we pondered this weekend was this: "Do you believe this?"
(Do you believe that I love you, that I am who I say I am, that I feel your pain and weep with you, that I am the resurrection and the life, that I am the living water, that I have a plan to prosper you and not to harm you? Do you believe this?)
If so, what difference does my belief make in my life?
Does what I believe affect the way that I deal with my family and friends?
Does it affect the way that I treat those I don't know?
The way that I treat those who don't believe as I do?
Does what I believe affect the way that I think, speak, and act?
Does it affect the way that I see the world around me and those that live in it?
Does it affect the way that I handle conflict, challenges, and insults?
Does it affect the way that I deal with traffic delays and unpaid bills?
Does it affect the way that I handle myself when I make mistakes and hurt others?
Does what I believe cause me to hasten to ask for forgiveness or make me more reluctant to do so? Does it increase the speed with which I forgive others or decrease it?
If what I believe doesn't affect those areas of my life -
in fact, every area of my life -
then how much do I believe it?
And is what I believe worthy of my faith, my hope, or my trust?
So much to ponder...
I am learning to live with the questions.
I am hoping to live my way into more of the answers.
I'm not sure when my trusty red suitcase and I will hit the road again, but when we do, there will be far more exciting photos to share, I promise!