Walking Our Faith: We are all walking our faith
Seven years ago, Ben Trollinger, the editor of the Summit Daily News, placed an ad seeking columnists for the paper. I answered the ad and in our phone interview Ben asked me what type of column I would like to write.
I replied that they probably had too many political columnists and I was new to the area so how about writing about what it’s like to be new to Breckenridge? There was silence on the other end of the phone, so I scrambled to come up with a new idea and I thought of the one thing that was important to me, what if I write a faith column? Thankfully, Ben agreed.
Over the years this column has evolved. I visited several local churches and featured them in columns. I interviewed pastors and wrote about them. But what seemed to resonate the most with readers was when I wrote about my own faith journey. What it was like to believe in God in good times and in bad and I wrote about my own personal experience.
I did this for one reason. Most faith writers that I read use the pronoun ‘you’ advising the reader on how they should live their lives, but rarely sharing their own ‘real’ lives. I wanted to know what their lives were like, were they perfect, did they make mistakes, and most importantly did they ever doubt?
Since this column is called Walking Our Faith, I wanted to share my walk of faith with you, in real terms.
Questioning my faith and then writing about it caused me to spend more time in my faith, thinking about it and praying about it.
The result is my faith in God, my study and participation in my Catholic faith, is deeper and more nuanced now than it was seven years ago. Do I still have questions? Absolutely. I still cannot explain the suffering of innocent people and it makes me angry and heartbroken by turns.
But I have discovered that these unanswered questions urge me to dive deeper into my relationship with Jesus Christ, to spend more time in prayer, to read my Bible and other books of faith, and to bring my questions to my priests for thoughtful discussions rather than pat answers.
Since this is my last column for the Summit Daily News, I’d like to provide a conclusion to this column, and it is this: Jesus Christ gave us the key to a better life for ourselves and for the world when he said that the two most important commandments are to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
To love God is to acknowledge that there is a creator of the beauty we find when we look out our windows at the golden aspen trees and across light years at a star filled sky.
To honor and glorify God is as natural as the awe we experience when we see a newborn child.
To be creative, to help others, to protect the planet, is a natural response of our souls in gratitude for the lives we have been given by our creator.
To love ourselves will be realized when we grasp how unconditionally we are loved by the one who knew us before we were born and loves us even after we have died, our creator, God.
And when we fully love ourselves, we will not be afraid to love our neighbor because we will understand that love is not a finite commodity.
Giving love away to our parents, siblings, children, neighbors and to strangers we will never meet, does not diminish our love but expands it exponentially. Because we give love created by an infinite God.
I hope you will continue your walk of faith after this column ends this week. I hope your walk, like mine, will continue for the rest of your life and bring you a new sense of purpose and a deeper relationship with God.
Thank you so much for the gift of your time. I love you and God loves you even more.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. — John 3:16-17
P.S. I will continue to write and publish a weekly column on walking our faith after I move. I hope you’ll join me here: SuzanneElizabethAnderson.substack.com
Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson’s column “Walking Our Faith” publishes Saturdays in the Summit Daily News. Anderson is the author of 10 novels and nonfiction books on faith. She has lived in Breckenridge since 2016. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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