Lots of times I think about my faith as a "part" of my life. There is the work part, the family part, the church part, etc. Things are compartmentalized. I go to church on Sunday morning, that is the faith part. I spend time in prayer and reading the Bible in the morning, that is the faith part. I write here, that is the faith part.
And, I have to admit that I like my faith convenient. Sometimes, for one reason or another, I just don't make it to church on Sunday morning - the house needs to be cleaned, there are too many errands to run, etc. No big deal. I really only spend time studying the Bible and in focused prayer when I am in the office and it is part of the routine. I carried my Bible with me on vacation last week, but I never opened it. I don't write on weekends, when I am traveling, on vacation, just too busy, etc.
One of the things that I have been working on for the past few years is changing that compartmentalized approach. My faith should not be "part" of my life that only exists when it is convenient. It should be the same all of the time. A few years ago, Milt Zapata sang the song "Live Out Loud" in church. I loved it. You could feel the joy and the praise in his singing. I've tried to grab on to that phrase - Live Out Loud. I remember sitting in one of the nightly worship services in New Orleans on the high school mission trip last year and praying that I could learn to Live Out Loud.
I wondered, do my friends and my family know where I am in my faith journey? Would my co-workers laugh because they didn't believe it was true if someone told them? Why? What sense does that make? I still pray that prayer often, that I learn to Live Out Loud. I admit that I find it easier to do so in some company than I do in others. While I know that a few co-workers read this and a couple of family members, I sometimes wonder if it would be awkward to find out that friends from college are reading, or others. I also wonder if the people that I know can reconcile these posts with the me that they see every day - I hope they can, but I wonder.
Anyway, I didn't know this was where I was going to end up when I started typing today. But, we are blessed to live in a time and a society that let's us Live Out Loud, that doesn't make us hide our beliefs, or worship in secret. But, we still put those restrictions on ourselves. Join me in trying to Live Out Loud - don't feel the need to hide your faith because it isn't "cool", or it's not who people think you are. And, if you know me, help me to do a better job Living Out Loud.
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17