Notes on the Cycle of Faith: Peace

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Part 6 of 6 of the "Cycle of Faith" series, which is an exploration of "faith crisis" by way of personal experience, insight, and opinion. 

Read Part 1, "Learning" here.

Read Part 2, "Losing" here.
Read Part 3, "Seeking" here.
Read Part 4, "Finding" here.
Read Part 5, "Trusting" here.

To download a PDF copy of the series (so you don't have to read post by post), click HERE.

Peace will not be rushed.

It blossoms unannounced like the first green leaves of spring.

In part 4 I mentioned the crucial turning point in my faith process was understanding connection as a process rather than a destination. In time, I came to understand that my connection with my heavenly parents has a name - peace. It is the bookends of the cycle of faith. 

I understand now that peace is not something that has to be lost. Once found, it can be kept. New cycles can begin on a foundation built from previously claimed peace. 

This idea reminds me of a scripture I once read. Doctrine & Covenants 50:24: That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

When peace is seen as part of a larger process rather than an arrival, 
when it carries forward to the next cycle of faith rather than fading away,
hope is not lost. 

In this light, the saying "trust the plan" is less a plea for mindless obedience 
and more a call for trust in a process 
of death and rebirth,
of learning and losing
and seeking and finding.

This is the wisdom of faith: 
it is not a narrow linear path through life.

Enduring to the end is not ignorant perseverance through roadblocks and distractions,
it is the relaxation into the centripetal force of the cycle of faith.

Questions will come. So will answers. 
The only ingredient needed is time.

There is a grove of citrus trees growing near the university my husband used to attend. When he was a student, we'd often pick lemons in the Arizona spring, which is right around February-April. One year we picked some gorgeous lemons and oranges in early January. We brought them home with big plans for fresh OJ, only to cut into them and taste their bitterness. It was too early for oranges and lemons. 

If you find yourself wishing for seasons of soft and sweet but can only taste the bitterness of losing: patience, love. Your peace harvest is coming. Be so gentle with yourself.

If you are sitting on the porch sipping summer's lemonade, soaking in the light of finding and trusting: rest in gratitude. Count blessings. Be so gentle with others.

Take time to eat the fruit from the trees 
and taste the bitter from the sweet.
Let's bake pies and lemon bars 
and deliver on the promises we make; 
to learn, love, and grow.
© Channing B. Parker. Design by FCD.