We can be right with God if we have faith, concludes today’s korero from Romans. We might say, being right with God means being fully human, being all we can be, using our gifts and skills.
At this mid-point in the calendar year, we’re invited to celebrate Aotearoa’s new year. Sometimes awakening skills, trying new things, even carrying on with familiar ones can be daunting—so I’d like to reflect briefly on living with faith.
Psychotherapist and creative coach Eric Maisel works with artists and creative writers. I recently read his advice in The Writer
Believe you have something to say. Consciously decide that you and your writing matter. Say, ‘I intend to matter’, or better yet, ‘I matter’, as many times a day as you can. It would be nice if you also believed that you matter, but say that you do whether you believe it or not. Eventually you’ll believe it.
That’s how I perceive faith: Saying that you do [or are] whether you believe it or not. And eventually you’ll believe it.
Faith, for me, is “living as if”.
Trying to live as if the world is beautiful and the glass isn’t half-full but brimming over, and people are well-meaning and good will always win. It’s trying every day to think and speak the best about people and things, sometimes despite the evidence.
If “in Christ”—or in a faithful life—there’s neither Jew nor Gentile, does this mean there’s neither tangata whenua nor manuhiri? Neither indigenous nor colonist, migrant nor refugee? No! I don’t believe we should ignore differences between us, but rather, act to reconcile them. And to do this, we need to live act as if that’s possible; under Matariki’s stars, living as if God’s eyes are on us.
Living in faith means
— living as if the same Wairua Tapu inspires us all;
— as if we share the same ancestors: Rangi and Papa, Adam and Eve, the explosion of energy that created suns, moons, planets, the stars whose ashes we are;
— living as if we are whanau, we are one.
Then, we will not fear, “though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, ‘though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
It’s great to have a new year every six months! It gives us a chance to start again, to remember our resolutions and act on them before too long has gone by. It reminds us to share our gifts, enjoy the abundance of the universe; to honor our past, and create the future.
In the mingling of our wairua in the hongi; in passing the peace of Christ from hand to hand; in the shared sacred meal, we create a reality in which manuhiri and tangata whenua become one whanau.
This year, live in faith; live as if you matter.
Happy New Year!
© Bronwyn Angela White (2008)
See also A Writer’s Paris: A guided journey for the creative soul by Eric Maisel. October 2005, Writer’s Digest Books. ISBN: 1582973598
From Psalm 46 (Today's New International Version)