Yesterday I arrived in Australia to spend some time with my Mum who has just had back surgery for a collapsed spine. She now has new steel in her back, pins and nails that have strengthened the existing structure and returned some of its youthful vitality. She looks years younger, her face looks less strained and she seems to have gained two inches in height. It is amazing to see her walking straight and tall for the first time for years. What is sobering however is to realize that even though she has two sons, a daughter and a daughter in law who are doctors, no one really noticed what was happening or the severity of her problem.
As I thought about that this morning I wondered: Have we too lost our backbones and neither we nor anyone has noticed? Has the strength and vitality of our faith collapsed diminishing us to a mere shell of what God intends us to be? What is the backbone of our faith anyway? What are the things that contribute the iron and steel that makes us stand straight and tall in the presence of God and of those around us?
These questions seem very appropriate ones to ask ourselves as we prepare for the celebration of Advent and Christmas. i plan to reflect on them during my time here in Sydney and will post a series of reflections on what I see as the iron and steel of my faith, the pillars that give me inner strength and hopefully, enable me to shine as light for others to see:
- The core beliefs of my faith
- The spiritual practices that nurture those beliefs
- The actions and deeds that reflect but I would love your thoughts too.
However I would love to hear from you too. What gives iron and steel to your faith? What provides the backbone that keeps you straight and tall?