There are better things ahead than any we leave behind. ~ C. S. LEWIS
The word inspired comes from the phrase “in spirit.” Ask any true creative and they will tell you. Creativity doesn’t come from you; it comes through you. I can take no credit for what I’ve created, what I’ve accomplished to this point. I was given the gift — by all truth of the definition — of thinking differently. I have been blessed (or cursed, depending on the day) with a creative mind.
And the gusto to use that creativity? Given to me. The business savvy to know what to do with it all? Given to me.
Our job as creative souls is to set free our creativity so that it flows from us to the world. Whatever you create — whatever it is — is meant to be here on the planet. Don’t get in its way.
I can’t truly talk about my life, or my path, or my family, or my career without talking about my faith — about my relationship with God. It’s in everything I do and don’t do, say and don’t say. It’s why I feel the peace and confidence that I feel and why I have the gusto to go for just about anything. When you think of life in the big picture — and I mean the big picture — the little failures, the mess-ups, the comments, and the regrets just don’t hold quite as much weight. Actually, they really don’t hold any weight.
People always seem to be surprised to find out that I’m a Christian. I’m not sure why; maybe it’s because I’m, well, fun! Though I have to say for the record, there are a lot of fun Christians out there. Watch out — we’re everywhere! But actually, I think it’s probably because they don’t really understand what being a Christian is all about. It’s not boring, rigid, or narrow-minded. I don’t think Jesus was that way either.
I have the joy of living a life of love, because I walk around knowing I’m so very loved by God.
When people ask me about religion, I tend to clam up. In fact, writing about religion is a bit of a strange experience. This is the first time I’m speaking about my commitment to my faith in such a public way, so bear with me.
My close friends all know that I’m a Christian. Most people don’t know this about me because I don’t usually bring it up, for no other reason except I generally keep things to myself. I’m sort of a private guy that way. I usually go to church by myself on Sundays. Every once in a while, if they want to come, maybe a friend comes.
I kind of keep religion and politics to myself because those conversations can be personal. People are entitled to feel however they want. We can be friends and not entirely agree. I’m certainly not trying to change anybody with my beliefs, but I’m happy to discuss my beliefs if someone asks. I’m certainly not going to judge you if you don’t believe what I believe.
What I do want to say is that Young Life (a Christian ministry geared toward students) was one of the most positive influences in my life. I went to many Christian camps growing up, but Young Life camp was always a highlight of my high school years. I appreciated how God was presented in such a fun and positive way. No judgment — just love and meeting kids where they were. For me, Young Life represented acceptance and friendship, and it was a place where I could be me. And I appreciated the adult leaders in Young Life, like Chris Buda, who took an interest in us as we were growing in our faith.
We were raised in a Christian household — church every Sunday. It was a big part of our life. When you’re a kid, you do whatever your parents do. I went to church with my parents because that’s what I was supposed to do. I had a connection through it from my family.
Dad came home for dinner every night, and every night we prayed together as a family. Every Wednesday night for ten years, my family and I went to a youth program at our church. Mom and Dad were both leaders. Dad was the leader of Steve’s group, the Royal Rangers. Mom was a leader for the girls’ group, the Missionettes. (That would make a great band name, by the way.) Mom even used to say a prayer with us every day before we got on the bus. It was a big part of our family fabric — a part of our family we appreciated.
But then in high school, something shifted in me: my faith became my own.
I was at Young Life. (Michelle, Steve, and I all went to Young Life.) I was taking a walk in the woods at night by myself. This might sound odd — taking a walk in the woods by yourself — but if you have ever been to camp, you know that walking in the woods and having some alone time to think is part of the experience. I remember it clearly. I was looking at the stars. It was a spiritual moment. I understood God’s beautiful and full love for me. I trusted Him with my life. It was a very aware, adult decision that I came to: that my faith is my own and that Jesus is actually the coolest dude — okay, God — to walk the planet. And I was on His team now.
I realized in that moment that I had this connection to God — a spiritual connection. Not because of my parents, not because of my upbringing, but because I chose to for me.
It was a big deal. And the amazing side product of that decision is that it has provided such a safety and emotional freedom for me in every aspect of my life.
I’m in the woods all the time; maybe that’s why I always feel it. Seriously! Spending time in nature is one of the most spiritual things you can do. I also believe that a lot of the blessings we had as children and adults is because of our faith. I think a lot of good things came from our upbringing. I don’t know if it’s because of our accountability to our heavenly Father, but I always felt that there was something bigger than me that put me here. It’s actually difficult for me to put into words. It’s faith — just a gut feeling.
My friends always ask why I have such a calm in my life. And I truly believe that it’s because my worth comes from more than just what’s happening to us and around us here on the earth.
Life is bigger than just who we are. We are not bodies with souls — we are souls with bodies. How wild is that? This is a temporary home for us and a temporary body. There’s so much more to life than what our eyes can see. And knowing that, I want to live a life of meaning and purpose. And live it on purpose.
The Bible is about a massive amount of love. That’s how I want to live my life.
Excerpt with permission from Work in Progress by Leanne and Steve Ford, copyright Leanne Ford and Steve Ford.
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Were you raised in a Christian family? Or did you meet the Lord later in life? How did faith grow inside of you? And, how do you want to live your life? Come share with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily