Written by guest contributor Kevin Floyd
I scratched my eyeball on a Christmas tree branch a couple of months ago. Not one of those limp Leyland cypress branches, a real one. I didn’t even see it coming. We’re keeping the branch too. I’m pretty sure I left some corneal DNA on it, so when we plant it and it grows into something weird, we might make the news.
When it feels like someone lit a fuse connected to your eyeball, it’s hard to sleep. I laid in bed a few nights thinking about what would happen if I went blind. I’d have a lot to learn—and I'd need a lot of practice.
I’m learning my faith is like that. It needs a lot of practice. I used to think I inherited faith just by growing up in the South. Now I think I only inherited my last name, and faith is something bigger. Having faith is important to me, but practicing it is different. I have a harmonica and a boomerang too. But I haven’t practiced either in a while, so they don’t do much for me or anyone else.
Paul was a faithful follower of Jesus, and, in a letter, he told friends that if he “had faith that moved mountains but didn’t love people,” he was “nothing.” Jesus Himself essentially boiled faith down to, “Love God, love people.”
I’m pretty much an amateur when it comes to loving people. I need a lot of practice. I see those Student Driver–Please Be Patient bumper stickers and want one that says Student Disciple–Please Be Patient. I should pretend like everyone else is wearing one, too.
A few things have helped me in my practice. I stopped notifications on my phone. Instead, I use reminders. They’re really practice notes for how to love people. For example, I had a tough work situation the other day, and my phone dinged. Instead of breaking news, it was a reminder to myself to be patient. That was helpful.
I also bought Office Max out of sticky notes last year and have a million words on the wall in my little corner home office. It’s all things I want to practice and get better at. There are lots of notes on the practice of loving people. Our thoughts and actions are all informed by something. I want my faith to inform me most, and that takes practice.
My eyesight came back, so no need to learn how to move through the world without it. But I'm going to keep learning what it means to have faith. Which means you’ll find me over here practicing—and ducking tree branches as I do.
Kevin and his wife Claudia, along with their teenage daughters Anne Allen and Kate, have served together at Lighthouse since 2013. They live and play in Marietta, Georgia.