My Spiritual Discipline for the past week has been Face-to-Face Connection. I believe this practice is important because I believe we are gifted with wisdom and passion that is uniquely gifted by God and are called to use these gifts to support our brothers and sisters on their walks with God. These connections can be found in multiple ways through mentorships, accountability partners, and though valued friends. When meeting face-to-face with someone it takes a willingness to become vulnerable with the other person present. It is a time to be genuine and to express shortcomings, struggles, and goals. It is a time to realize where we are on our walk with God and to establish relationships with people who are willing to celebrate the victories and lift us up in our hard times. Throughout the Bible, Scripture encourages us to foster these relations and act out of love and compassion to our brothers and sisters. I often struggle when it comes to face-to-face interactions because I often come wearing a mask, presenting myself as who I want to be and not who I truly am. I find it hard for me to work up the confidence to be vulnerable with others as I fear judgement and ruining my ‘image’ as a Christian. One of my goals for this Discipline was becoming more intentional at removing that mask when sharing my story and struggles and be genuine to the person I am with. So right off the bat I was already nervous on how my face-to-face connection was going to go. Josh recommended me building my relationship with Teller, so I asked him if he was willing to go to lunch, and he agreed. I spent some time preparing some questions that I felt could lead us into a spiritual discussion. During our conversation, I focused on being honest and not trying to build an image. Teller and I sat for an hour in the caf and shared our faith journey, goals for the year, and our struggles. I gained a lot of admiration for Teller throughout our talk, and I felt myself opening up more and more. Leaving the caf, not only did I feel appreciative of the encouragement and support that Teller gave me, I felt the beginnings of a new mentorship. A mentorship where I feel like I could learn about wisdom and compassion that Teller has been blessed with. And that is the beauty of taking the time to make Face-to-Face relations, the ability to learn from those with different experiences and build a community that encourages growth and love. I am going to continue to work on taking off my mask and be more genuine in my relationships and I am excited to see where this road leads me. I believe God can work wonders using people’s relationships, and I hope to continue to build new friendships and mentorships here with my new family at University Church of Christ.
The UCC Spiritual Practices blog is here for you to grow and develop in your faith and daily time with God. The majority of the articles are written by UCC's own Garrett Le and Hanson Von Flue, with the guidance of Adele Ahlberg Calhoun's Spiritual Disciplines Handbook.