This summer, I’ve been spending some time reading books, watching movies, and visiting sites that have connection to American history. I’m teaching a history class this fall and am trying to use this time to get a bit into a historical mindset. I have a renewed appreciation for the signer of the Declaration of Independence, a greater respect for our country’s first leaders, a rediscovered gratitude for the independence we have as a nation.
But then I wonder: how much has that American independent spirit permeated the way I live out my faith? If I’m honest, I know that it has affected me far more than I would like to admit. I’d rather be my own person, be authentic, than blend in with the group of believers beside me. I can quickly fall prey to the lie that I can do it just fine on my own.
But I know I can’t.
Did Jesus teach individuality? Not really. He told us to follow. He modeled what it was like to live close to people.
A few months ago, some of us from church got together for a game night. It was a fun evening with lots of snacks to eat and many laughs to share. I needed to laugh. I had been wrestling through some things of my own the week prior to this. I was depressed about my station in life – playing pity party for all the difficulties of being a single woman in 2014. I needed to step away from that and just have fun.
A rowdy Dutch Blitz game broke out, and being a sucker for this sort of competition, I had to join. There was lots of slamming cards on the table, yelling at opponents, and high-fiving teammates. We were having a high old time.
And then I had this mini-epiphany. I looked across the table at Christy, an 18-year old fine young lady who has been in my English classes for the past three years. I like her. A lot. And suddenly the thought hit me: I need to be faithful in walking with Christ through this season of singleness because of Christy. Because Christy is watching me. Because Christy is only one of many young girls who are watching.
Because many other women of faith have done it for me, are doing it for me. Leaving an example, that is. Being brave enough to live life close to others. Showing me what it looks like to follow Christ through different stages of life.
Sometimes, that means throwing off the American spirit of independence and becoming more Biblically interdependent. I want to do that. For all the Christys out there.