With the harsh spiritual season of winter this past spring, I spent my summer reconstructing my spiritual life back to a healthy spot. All I could really come up with was that I needed to “love.” Returning to Point Loma, although still on the edge, I made my focal point of this year to love others because as a Christian that is what I am called to do. Two weeks ago, I went to my first church service at Flood Church after being back to San Diego, and Scripture reading stuck with me more than any other reference from a church service. The reference was 2 Peter 1:1-9, but the portion that stuck with me came from verses 5-7.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.
Immediately, those verses hit me. I had been focusing on love, and here Peter lays out a “formula” of virtues, leading you to love. I realized, “This is it! A way to construct a virtuous character focused on love!” I admire most that he tells us to “add to,” making sure you hold on to what you learned before. At the beginning and the end are the most important ones to remember because “faith” is your foundation and “love” is your goal. Because of this, I am doing an eight week plan to get to love. Each week, I am focusing on a different one of these virtues, hoping that in the end I reach love. The process will not start until I grab a semi-firm grip on faith because it is one of the most important traits. 2 weeks ago I decided I was going to do this plan… and I still haven’t left “faith”… I hope I grab ahold of this soon…
As I go along, I will be laying out a timeline/reminder on my wall of the focal words and important dates when something powerful happened or I learned something amazing that will link back to an entry in my journal. Right now, I have “Faith” taped on my wall, with a date (17 Aug 11) which I will get into more detail about when I write my “faith” follow-up blog. I pray that this is a life-changing process and something glorious rises out of it… and I can cut my padawan braid. Pray for wisdom in this time of discovery.
NOTE: For those who don’t know, I have been growing a padawan braid since my spiritual life became rough, and it has become an on-going symbol of my apprenticeship to God and that I am not ready. When God shows me something profound and I am ready, I will cut it off. But until then… it continues to grow.