I am blessed to regularly engage in conversations about faith and faith development. This past week, one such conversation grew during our book study group.
|"Sugarcandy Front End" |
CC BY-NC by pics4allfriends - Sourced from Flickr
We were using, for our analogy, a sugar stick. Those fun, often colourful, crystalised sugar sticks that are often considered novelty items. These can also be the product of science projects; one starts with a blank stick and inserts it in (for some time) in sugar water. The longer the stick sits in the water, crystals grow both in size and number. If the water is coloured, so are the crystals.
Additional colours can be added, simply by moving the stick from one coloured sugar-water to another. It can go for as long as the sugar lasts, and the more concentrated the sugar-water, the faster the crystals can grow.
Faith is like this, we discussed. Our faith journey is like a sugar crystal stick.
Our faith grows. Abundantly. In order for this to happen, it needs to be immersed in a faith-filled environment. The longer we exist within the environment of faith, the stronger and more abundant our faith will become. It grows. (Conversely, should we remove ourselves from that environment, our growth will cease, and eventually dry out and be unpleasant.)
Likewise, our faith is influenced by our environment - we absorb and reflect the 'colour' of the world around us. If we change our immersion, our colour will also change (so we want to keep things positive and complimentary!) As such when we immerse ourselves in positive, faithful experiences, our faith will grow in that and this will be obvious to all who see us.
|"Tea at Madonna Inn"|
CC BY-NC by Cassie. Sourced from Flickr
Further in the analogy, we are not meant to leave our faith unused, wrapped up on a shelf, like a novelty. We are meant to use what we have been given, to the best of our ability, to influence (and sweeten) the world around us.
We can also appreciate that these sticks do not have to be finite; just as the sticks can be re-immersed in water to encourage new and renewed growth, we can do the same in our faith journey when we are feeling depleted.
Won't it be grand when we can all see our faith as ever-growing, and ever-sweet!