A man named Brandon Stanton followed a passion that led him to take portraits of people in New York City. He has now published two books and maintains over 10 million followers on Facebook. You can check out his website [HERE].
I tell you this to say that I am a huge fan of his work. Not only because he has followed his dream and created a passionate body of work, but also for the interactions he has with such a diverse group of people. I love that he brings out people's personality and sometimes how they feel or what they are thinking in that particular moment.
I love that idea...feeling the moment.
This was posted on the "Humans of New York" Facebook page some time ago, but this particular quotation really made me think and I want to share it with you:
"Going through life without God is like being an astronaut tumbling out of control in outer space. You grab on to this, but it breaks, and you tumble some more. Every time you lose something that you tried to hold on to-- your marriage, your job, your mom-- you start tumbling even faster. So you've got to stay close. You can't cut your umbilical cord. But you don't have to go to church. God is everywhere. God is that blade of grass trying to come up through the concrete. So many people go to church, and leave church, not even realizing that they are the church. You just need to make a determination in your mind that you want to find and believe in the truth."
|Brandon Stanton, "Humans of New York"|
Throughout my life my idea of God has evolved and matured. I experienced another significant change after moving out of the "Bible-belt" South to Seattle. God is not often a household tradition here like it is in the south. There are so many different types of people here that believe in all different religions. Yet somehow, they all manage to live together peacefully and respectfully just as the Bible preaches. It is a beautiful thing to witness.
This change in religious mentality got me thinking about truth. The gentleman above says that we try to hold on to things, I infer to keep us grounded. Often we lose those things or become so afraid of losing them (things and people alike) that it changes us and not for the better. It makes us dependent and needy, neither of which are attractive qualities or even ones that the Bible encourages.
I understand that "tumbling out of control" he speaks of. I describe it as a downward spiral. Especially if several things are going on at once, it is easy to get angry, depressed and anxious. Honestly, this happens to me all the time. However, I am now beginning to practice this idea of believing in truth and it has been a fun journey to find it.
Truth is defined in the dictionary as "the true or actual state of matter," "conformity with fact or reality," and "an obvious or accepted fact." It is interesting to me that the definition of truth is relative to what you (or society) believes. I can state a truth that is accurate in one part of the world but not in another because within that area it is considered "accepted fact."
I've never believed much in the brick and mortar of church. It is just fact that when a large group of people come together and organize into a hierarchy and receive funding from others it is inevitable it will be corrupted on some level. It happens in every aspect of life (i.e. business, government and yes also in church). But the people within that organization are so much more. They can depend on each other and lift each other up. And that is a beautiful thing.
God is everywhere. That is what I believe as well. This is why this gentleman's quotation means so much to me. Pretty much all my life I have said that nature is my church...it still is. There is nothing more peaceful and connecting than escaping into the sanctuary of God's creation. I don't need to go to church to experience God, I am the church. God lives in me. Because I believe in God, I believe in myself. I can do it. I can succeed. I will not fail, but simply learn from my mistakes. I am enough and I am worthy of the things (of integrity) that I want.
This has been a great shift in perspective for me. "You just need to make a determination in your mind that you want to find and believe in the truth." I am learning to believe in myself...and that is making all the difference.