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Faith in the world

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With people coming and going the head count in our house is always in flux this time of year. I have to stop and think about just how many people will be home for dinner on any given day, and the back to school departure dates are hard to remember. But I love it, because we don't have seven of our eight kids home all at once very often any more.

Sometimes, it feels like we're living in a train station or airport. Our children have been all over the place pursuing work and education and extra-curriculars this summer. One was studying in Italy, another is now preparing for a semester in Paris. A third was part of a performing band at a large music festival in Switzerland. Three went to a dance competition in Chicago, while another travelled to Arizona and Washington, D.C. for an internship with a non-profit. In the fall, one of the four still at home will visit his sister in England and France. And me? I get to stay home and watch it all.

Hey, I've had my turn. And while I hope to get one or two last rides on the carousel in the years ahead, it's a pleasure to see our kids pursuing who they are in a world they think of as basically good. That is, they see the world the way God created it and the way it ultimately will be.

That, to me, counts as a victory for faith. Why? Because if you look closely, a lot of people seem to be unhappy not only with where they are, but with who they are. That happens when we try to live our lives without reference to the God who made us. It is the result of attempting to live in a world we create rather than the one that is.

Faith in God gives us more than what used to be called the "power of positive thinking." It gives us hope, the kind that does not disappoint, the kind that makes us "more than conquerors." (Romans 8:37) When we trust that we have been redeemed, we experience the world and everyone in it as redeemable and worth redeeming. When we believe in someone bigger than we are, we can be less afraid of our expanding universe. This is especially true when we also believe that the someone bigger loves us, and loves us enough to give us the gift of faith.

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