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On Kathy's Faith Walk, she gets to choose

My faith walk of late has been much more about relationship than any other topic. Relationships are odd things. They can go so many different directions, and so quickly. But at the end of the day, when I clean off my mental white board, I don’t want anything relational left up there. I want a clean slate for the next day. Most of the time, I can count on just such a clean board.  However, there are days... .

Like most people my friends vary in age, profession, talents, interests, faith backgrounds and basic personality.  If I surround myself with people of like mind I don’t learn much from personal encounters. If, on the other hand, I surround myself with people of differing ideas and dreams, I am much more likely to get a fresh perspective on just about any subject. Yes, heated discussions can occur, but if all the parties will just stay at the table this is half the fun! We can learn how the others think, how they draw conclusions, and how they make decisions.

No matter how I try to tweak my thought process, I still surface a conservative. Surely this comes as no surprise to anyone, but I write it because I really do enjoy hanging around liberal friends. For the last two years or so I have been actively seeking out relationships based on differences rather than commonalities. It has been fun! 

When I read about Jesus and how he handled himself around the people he ministered to, his love and compassion for them is breathtaking. This is wonderful because he was so different from the people in his culture. He centered himself in difficult and sometimes dangerous positions in order to get people to stop looking inside themselves for answers and look to him instead. He could see the needs. He could see the hurts and wounds. He could see hunger and bitterness. In each case the answer to these personal issues was a personal relationship with him. He wasn’t trying to change who they were. He was trying to get them to be complete in him. We are the most “us” we will ever be when we are in relationship with Christ.

Jesus offers people one of the wackiest options for relationship imaginable. To begin with he is the Creator of the universe so it’s kind of wild to consider that a human being could ever have anything in common with someone who creates entire galaxies. But we do—we have God. Once you have him, you have him in common and while that may sound odd, it really just opens up the realm of possibility. If we come to him with everything, the good and the bad, he takes the burdens off of us and replaces them with peace. We obtain the ability to move outside ourselves and seek out with confidence relationships we might not otherwise choose. We would do that because Jesus has friends too. He is always looking for more of them and a friend is simply someone who chooses to embark on a journey with someone else; in this case, Jesus. Once he is in your heart, infinity is the limit to all you can do. 

 I have never seen a good friendship that didn’t have a few bumps along the way. This is how we are. Through difficult times, disagreements, sacrifices, apologies, forgiveness, and growth, we learn to trust each other with things most precious to us. 

Relationships—there is always room for another one. Why not consider one with God? What have you got to lose? He already loves you. 

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Author info

Kathy Osborne Kathy Osborne is the editor of the Co Op Country Store's newspaper, the Co Op Round-Up. In her spare time she checks in on her three grown children, or listens to her husband play music.

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Kathys Faith Walk, relationships, choice

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