We love what this organization is doing.. in a world of 140 characters, it’s not very often that we think deeply, and extensively about who we are, and what it is that we stand for. What do you believe in.. so often we don’t really know. If you are in Chicago, we’d recommend going to see this. April 5th at Joe’s on Weed St. 7:00.
I believe in God.
I believe in some higher power.
I believe in Jesus.
I don’t believe in God.
I don’t really know if what’s out there is a who.
I believe in what can be proven.
I believe in science.
I’m spiritual, not religious.
I believe in myself.
I believe in Allah and Mohammad, his prophet.
I believe in love.
I am LDS.
I am Reformed.
I am Greek Orthodox.
I grew up in a cult, don’t ask.
I converted to Islam.
Jesus is the way.
Well, I don’t believe in the God that’s on our dollar bills.
I think, therefore I just am.
I follow the way of the Buddha.
I am Protestant.
I am an atheist.
I am an evolutionist.
I am not a believer.
I Am. . .
Most of us are or have used one of the lines above. We’ve said, “I believe…” or “I am a…” to define ourselves or draw a boundary with another. Amazingly enough, many of us, though we call ourselves a ________, aren’t able to articulate why we are and believe what we do. We tend to just state our what’s and I am’s without a why to back it up. Why? Possibly the forth word and first question we ever learned, tends to slip away from us as we get older, while “it is what it is” takes over.
But the why is so important! The why is where you’re heart can be found, it is entirely unique and important, as its the centrifugal force of your story. The question, why do you believe what you believe? could be a springboard but instead often causes temporary muteness or ignoranity as bland answers that have long since expired in our hearts are offered in lieu of thought through, fought for, consciously experienced ones.
In all of our lives, there comes a time where we have to do more than decide what we believe, we have got to understand and begin to articulate why. Hopefully, this set of beliefs will continue to evolve over the course of our lives, forming and reforming as we grow. These days, we’ve seen enough of the world to realize there are countless other folk out there with varying faiths, fights and ways. Seeing this causes some to go deep to uncover and discover their beliefs in a way that is entirely their own. But many of us don’t realize we have both the right and responsibility to do this and instead fade into the haze of, “I grew up _____ but don’t really follow anything anymore.” For any belief to become our own, we must do the dirty work of questioning, proving, failing, confessing and accepting what comes back until it is entirely true. You never forget when it happens, for those who go there and back, come alive in a way that makes you notice. Their faith isn’t something that gets them through… its what makes them flourish. It is their x-factor. It causes you to want to know…why.
While we do the messy job of living, our story and other people’s stories cross influence and inspire us, as they challenge what we believe about our selves, life and God. People’s stories tend to be most influential in the process and formation of what we believe, but they cannot give us our authentic why. Just as no two bodies, snowflakes or fingerprints are identical, no two stories are the same, nor should they be. Our unique Why, is where we can find common ground in this world. What we believe tends to divide us… but our why’s come out of our shared human experience and often, with a sweet little combo of empathy and sincerity can unify us.
As you might be able to guess, our next Elements Session is titled: Why Do You Believe What You Believe. We will be hearing from four very different individuals who vary in story, religion and experience but they all know why they believe what they do. We are hoping that this conversation will cause you to have your own, as you figure out why you believe what you believe.