My church is doing a study on the book The Purpose Driven Life. I had read through most of it a few years ago, but had gotten bogged down about halfway through it. This time however it is easier. Maybe it is because I have other people reading through it with me.
The study facilitator also sends us all an email every day with commentary and thoughts on each day's reading. Several of us have also submitted our own comments as well, and every week we break into smaller groups to discuss what we have read the past week. I had to miss last week, and will this one as well due to family events.
The first time through I also followed each day with a journal entry, that I had gotten as a companion to the PDL book. Rereading those entries has also been a help as I can see that what I wrote 4 years ago is still relevant today.
One of the things this book has taught me is personal focus in how I conduct my life. It made me think of how I treat others, How I view faith, and how I handle adversity. I know I must treat others exceedingly well, even if I don't feel like it or want to. I need to remember that they have hopes, dreams, feelings, and are as deserving of love and respect as I am. It's a tough challenge to do that to each person every single day, and I fail often at the treat people well thing, but, I know God is patient with me. He's got to be, as I mess up all the time.
My faith? Well it is quite personal and very unique to me. I have learned that faith comes in all shapes and sizes. Some folks need strong structure, traditional settings and more restrictive rules to live faith by, others need the opposite, and even more others fall somewhere in between. I need to respect that, and not expect others to view faith and religion as I do. All I can do is gently share it and use my actions to demonstrate what I believe.
Lastly, facing adversity. Yeah I worry, and fret, and play "what if?" when things don't go as I'd like, but I've noticed that I tend to do that more with the little things, then the big things. Like my surgery last year and my daughter Ashley's a few months later? Somehow I just knew that no matter what we'd be ok, that God had things planned out way ahead of time for our recovery. That assurance was just what I needed, and I am certain I didn't come to that conclusion all by myself. Thanks God!
I look forward to reading the rest of this book as tomorrow's reading will make the point where I gave up last time around. It has been a refreshing experience to my soul, and has helped me refocus where I have unwittingly slacked off.