Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

My Life as a Work in Progress ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

My Life as a Work in Progress ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

Sometimes life feels like a work in progress. I've been living overseas, far away from friends and family - learning a new language and living in a new culture. Many activities I was involved in aren't part of my life now, and much of what I felt had defined me and my life is no longer present.

I married a man from the country that I now call home and made a conscious choice to live here with him. But life is very different. This situation is demanding of me a more permanent and unchangeable sense of home, family, friends, and identity, specifically, spiritual identity that deepens and enriches life.

I'm getting some clearer ideas. Honoring another culture and its people is different from trying to conform to it, which can lead to generalizations about national characteristics and can rob humanity of its individuality.

I want to be myself and at the same time feel connected with others. So I've needed to pray to God about how to live freely as myself while adapting to my new surroundings.

At times I've been so angry about a custom or what is expected of me. Acting from the basis of spiritual identity includes honoring customs and communicating so that I am understood, but it also includes much more.

I've been seeking to understand the heart of the real identity that belongs to everyone. Finding identity includes being identical to or like something, so I've been asking God to show me more of my Godlikeness and the Godlikeness of everyone.

Being a child of God means being humble like a child filled with wonder - fearless, innocent - ready to stand and take the first steps. This humility pushes out criticism, cynicism, and skepticism. I am much readier to look for the heart of the individuals with whom I come into contact.

At one point I was consumed with judgment at seeing a beautiful picnic area and some other open fields that were filled with trash. How could people tolerate seeing all that trash around them? How could they be so uncaring? I began to generalize about the people of this country and attach to them character traits of thoughtlessness, selfishness, and even disrespect for the law.

One day as we were driving past these areas, a deeper desire broke through this fault-finding. …

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