Friday, December 9, 2016

Living a Life Outside the Box

Sometimes we are afraid to find inspiration in places outside of our comfort zone. I received an invitation from a friend this holiday season to attend a play she was performing in at her church. Right away I marked it on my calendar and was excited to go see her perform and feel of the Spirit. A couple days later I learned of others in our circle who had also been invited but were hesitant to attend because they weren't comfortable being in a church that was of another religion. They felt some anxiety about it and worried that the members might put them on the spot about their beliefs and put them in an awkward position.

The friend who was performing in the play had attended my daughter's baptism earlier this year and she was also a bit uncomfortable being in our church and feeling some anxiety. Instead of sitting with our family she sat in the back. When it came time for pictures she exited the building and hid in the parking lot until it was time to go. She felt great anxiety - the same fears our circle of friends were feeling about going to her church.

I found it interesting that most people don't have a problem inviting others to events at their church, but when the coin is flipped - they aren't as comfortable or thrilled being the one invited. This, along with some other recent events inspired me to make this video. Because I am a person who lives outside of the box, I am excited to gain from others who are not of my same faith. I think most people that know me would be surprised to see the list of books I read, the mentors I follow, and the videos I watch, because they are from a variety of sources that have religious differences. I enjoy hearing how others of different faiths deal with issues that I can relate with - parenting, marriage, standing up for what you believe in, increasing faith and hope, etc. I love hearing different perspectives and often receive helpful insight that I had never thought of before. I have come to learn that we have more in common than we do differences. Our values, our goals, our dreams, our hopes, our love for God, are the bridge that can bring us together.

We don't have to agree on doctrinal issues or feel that our faith may be in jeopardy if we open ourselves to understand another's perspective. It's that fear that keeps us held back in our lives. It's that fear that influences our level of happiness. I have witnessed those within my own church allowing fear or lack of understanding to keep them from experiencing some beautiful opportunities and even friendships. Also, I have witnessed others from outside of my church, doing the same.

There was a time in my life when I was afraid to live outside of my box. Then I learned that when you put limits on the Spirit, you put limits on your own spiritual growth. When we step outside of what we are comfortable and familiar with, we can experience soaring to greater heights of happiness!

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