Monday, November 12, 2012

Tools of the Trade

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m working diligently to evolve my faith. To become closer to the comfort that God has to offer and to accept Him in my life. Some days, that can be a difficult task. Some Sundays, I feel a bit out of place sitting in those aisles among so many God-fearing people. I watch the woman on my right, lifting her arms up to the sky and singing her heart out. I listen to the man to my left pray out loud with no hesitance, and speak to God as though He is standing right there in front of him. I am not quite there yet. I feel like the black sheep, and often question what I am doing there at that very moment.
In today’s service, the sermon was about God choosing His faithful followers to do His will; He blesses those who live in strong Christian faith, those who “walk the walk and talk the talk”. The pastor cited the story of Mary, a righteous teenage girl who was hand-picked by God to carry our savior, Jesus Christ. She lived her life with high morals, and because of her purity, was deemed worthy of carrying such a special child.
I immediately thought of our baby girl; a child whose existence is so significant, so full of love and joy, but also so much pain, struggle and grief… why did he choose us? Are we being blessed, or punished? I certainly haven’t lived a pure life, and I haven’t followed the rules when it comes to being Christ-like.  I chose to leave the Catholic church I was raised in when I was fifteen years old, as soon as I was given an option. Between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five, I have made a lot of mistakes. I have certainly sinned, I have been selfish and immoral, and if I were in God’s shoes, I wouldn’t exactly see me as a prime candidate to embark on such a journey. Then I remember this: I may not be the most faithful Christian by definition, but I do know God, and God does not call the qualified, he qualifies those he calls. Each day since we received Leila’s diagnosis, this experience has felt like less of a burden and more of a blessing that is teaching us love, selflessness, understanding and acceptance. I believe this shift of outlook is due to the fact that I am learning to use the survival tools that are available to me, God being one of them.
The Chinese meaning of the word “Crisis” is danger and opportunity. If and when God calls you, there is a pretty significant chance that the road He places you on will be riddled with potholes, speed bumps, cracks and forks. When you come across one of those obstacles, remember that courage is not the absence of fear, but the overcoming of it.  The end of that road holds rewards, beauty and fulfillment. You were chosen the live this life, and though you may not always feel prepared for what is handed to you, you will be given the tools not only to survive it, but even succeed in it. It is up to you to use them.
As I continue on my journey in this new relationship with the Lord, and similarly, my journey with Leila, I must have courage. I must accept my fear of being the black sheep, realize that I’m likely not alone in that fear, and move forward regardless. As time passes, I will continue to utilize my tools, and I will become more skilled with them. I may be fumbling a bit now, but like any craftsman, the skill level must start at zero and be perfected with experience. Not everyone will find God in their life, or even try, but I’m giving it a shot. Like a Swiss army knife, from what I hear, He is a pretty handy tool to have around.

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