Did you ever have one growing up? An invisible friend who no one else could see but you. You’d set a place at the table for him/her/it! There would be conversations in your room and tea parties with your special friend. Did you parents ever go along with it?
Some people I’ve talked with as an adult struggle because Faith seems more like a childhood invisible friend than anything of real substance. When it’s your faith in question, it feels like you’re the only one who can see it sometimes. When you’re on the outside looking in at someone else of faith – it can sometimes appear as if people are having conversations with someone and making decisions that you might just “go along with” because you don’t really understand it.
Welcome to The Tension is Real Podcast. A podcast dedicated to real discussion about the TENSION that exists between Life and Faith and how to embrace it so we can live with purpose and freedom.
Today’s Topic – The Tension of FEAR in FAITH.
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There are times when I really enjoy serving people. I’ve been volunteering for one thing or another my whole life. Part of it was how I was raised (serving in the church, being a helpful person) but another part of it early in my life was my inability to say “NO”.
I didn’t WANT to say “NO”, but I also really didn’t pay much attention to the fact that every time I said YES to something – I was actually still saying NO to other things in my life. The same is true that when you say yes to one thing, you may not realize you are saying no to other things.
Yes to staying late at work is saying no to more time with your family.
No to staying late at work is saying yes to more time with your family.
No to getting up early to hit the gym is saying yes to that bagel or muffin that I will need to fuel my morning.
Yes to getting up early to to hit the gym is saying no to that bagel or muffin that you won’t need or want after you work out.
*** is there anyway I can work out and still eat my bagel? Probably, but you get my point!
The group called “Recovering from Religion” has set up a hotline for people who struggle with doubts about God and religion in general. Read full article in Huffington Post.
So, I’m convinced they got it right on this one. SURE, they’ve embraced it from a completely wrong motive – but they don’t care… there is no God to answer to so there is no ultimate accountability.
One of the quotes from the groups executive Director Sarah Moorehead that got my attention was powerful.
I have a friend who considers himself to be a “cynical optimist”. I’m not exactly sure if that really is a thing, or just another fancy contradiction we’ve come up with to describe our complex personalities (like girly man or stupid funny)? The truth is, my friend is getting older in age so I think he’s just becoming more of a krumugin over time. (it’s a real word… look it up)
Can you be a hopeful pessimist? Or how about a quiet loudmouth? Even better, a carefree perfectionist?!
I think the reason we’ve tried to identify these characteristics in our lives is because we know that we are never, always, just ONE thing. We do this to try to RELIEVE THE TENSION in us and in others. If we can find a category for it and label them properly – it’s easier for us to understand, manage, deal with, and make the people in our lives more approachable.
However, none of us want to be characterized by just one of these attributes. My wife calls me a Fatal Optimist. She’s convinced that I’ll see the positive in all things until it kills me. It’s true…but that isn’t possible (even for me) all the time. I can get negative easily. I can move to a place of being critical when circumstance are just right.