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Faithful Living: Maintain faith in little things
Remember, if you’re headed in the wrong direction,
God allows U-turns.
--Allison Gappa Bottke
“Why did you call our home, not identify yourself, then ask for my husband by his first name as if you know him personally?” I asked the woman on the other end of the phone.
It was Wednesday evening, we were just getting dinner on the table, and her tactics annoyed me. I understood she had a job to do, but our inability to get caller ID on our phone line makes such unsolicited calls increasingly intrusive and irritating. I chose to be polite to her, mind you, but I was direct and gave voice to my views as I questioned the telemarketer’s methods.
“Why are you not willing to speak with me? How did you get our number when we’ve placed ourselves on the national No Call list?”
With greater frequency these days I realize that my outlook on life and ways to interact with people differs greatly from the social tide. My husband and I do our best to intentionally model ways to communicate, manage stress, and work through challenges and struggles with grace and understanding. We aim to be consistent and institute workable systems for running our household. And we work to incorporate our faith into our everyday experiences.
It is no longer enough to monitor television, movies, Internet and phone use. We must offer good reasons for striving to be different and methods to maneuver in this world. We must identify codes of conduct and stay the course because many of life’s greatest lessons take a long time to understand and accept. There will be bumps and hard lessons, but God’s ways can be trusted.
On a recent trip into town I watched as two vehicles passed us on the right with their pedals to the metal, in spite of posted speed limits and children biking along the roadway. Our only satisfaction came when we reached both vehicles at the next intersection. Their hurrying and illegal lane changing had only moved them one car.
So what does all this have to do with faithful living? I believe that instituting, valuing and practicing faith during the mundane moments of our lives rounds out those rough edges we all have. Faith builds into us that steady reminder that ugliness, rudeness, disrespect for ourselves and those around us not only offends God but reduces the effectiveness of our families, classrooms, work sites and roadways.
While people of faith make a multitude of mistakes, faith says to put that cart back into the rack instead of the planter, where it might roll into the side of someone else’s car. It says to build a cushion into your schedule so a delay in traffic flow will not put you over the edge. It says that offensive or worrisome moments can be turned into teachable and enlightening experiences for others if you will patiently and confidently present your point of view.
Faith encourages us to choose the better way. May we head down that road this week.
Reach Joan Bay Klope at firstname.lastname@example.org.