Sometimes my faith is weak and I feel like I am not growing, that I am stuck in neutral, or worse, regressing. This realization or state of mind can be piqued when people around me are living out their faith in a bold way or when they are deeply blessed. When I am creeping along in my petty pace from day to day, I tend not to notice my condition. It is only when something or someone causes me to look up that I truly begin to understand that I seem to be going nowhere and others are cruising along apace. This is a strong condition of a faith that is growing stale.
I find it kind of shameful to admit, but too often the feelings that bubble up within me at these moments of witnessing God's hand on someone else, seem an awful lot like jealousy. Instead of celebrating with them, I come away feeling embittered. Why can't I be given such a blessing? Why are my "big" prayers not answered? Instead of celebrating something God has done that is wondrous and worth talking about with others, I pull within myself and grow quiet and cold.
Yet I have tasted the joy of celebrating God's movement in the lives of others. I distinctly remember attending the ground-breaking celebration of my old church where they were performing the first baptisms on the newly acquired church property. After we had celebrated with all of the registered folks who were baptized, the pastor then called for a "spontaneous baptism". Anyone present who wanted to come forward was invited to take part. Seeing the aisles streaming with folks at this call was a wonderful, beautiful, awe-inspiring moment that left me in tears and smiling so hard my face hurt. It seems to me that it is this sort of reaction that I should strive to cultivate no matter who God touches. It doesn't matter if it is me or someone in my world.