Sunday, November 22, 2009

 

Our fellow travelers

I know some people who define those who are like them in terms of faith by looking to those of the same religion, and the same denomination, and the same set of beliefs within that denomination. That is, they see as their fellow travelers (for example) Christians who are Baptists who are moderate.

Not me. I think the two things that make someone my fellow traveler is their affirmative answers to these two questions:

1) Do you believe in God?
2) Does that belief profoundly affect your life?

If a person's answer to both those questions is "yes," then we are fellow members of a minority, and have more in common with one another than we probably do with most others. It is these people that I most enjoy talking to, and who most inspire me, regardless of the faith that is the center of their life. I have much more in common with these people than I do with fellow Christians who use our faith to affirm their political beliefs or assure themselves of a heavenly future or to judge others.

One commonality I find with those who answer "yes" twice to that question is that (regardless of faith) they usually acknowledge how profoundly flawed they are (as I do), and feel more humbled by the presence of God than anything else.

Who are your fellow travelers?

Comments:
1. I believe.
2. Dear God, help my unbelief.
Bob
 
I guess I do not have any then, Unless it is Other people who do not believe the things I also do not believe?
 
Tyd ~ I travel with you
 
I've given this question quite a bit of thought throughout the day today. And I've concluded that because of my belief that every human being is a child of God with eternal worth and potential, everyone is my fellow traveler.
 
1) Yes and
2) Yes, when I'm strong enough to let it.


On an unrelated note, I've reread this post 3 or 4 times today, and each time this song pops into my head. Maybe something about "one more drifter in the snow"...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOgKYDto6jg
 
1. Yes
2. I try

Tyd, I'd travel with you any day. :)
 
I've been pondering your post since Monday morning not knowing exactly how to formulate a response. Then, in my study this week, as I prepared for the first advent sermon of the season, I was reminded once more of the necessity of watching and waiting for God's coming in this world. It dawned on me - I consider my fellow travelers those who watch for or are attentive to the possibilities of God's arrival at any moment.

This watching doesn't center around specific denominations or doctrines other than, perhaps, the doctrine that God does indeed make himself known. Primarily the watchful life requires humility, not just because we are so poor at it, but also because we realize that God tends to show up in the least expected of places like Bethlehem or Golgotha or fellow travelers who've come alongside us from a different way.
 
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