My Faith Journey with the Cultural Influencers Cross-Current Group
Last Spring before the "new normal" began...
At the beginning of 2019 I met a new friend. Our friendship was like a spark: we get along well and became good friends in a short time because of our common studies in intercultural communications and our curiosity in the journey of following Christ. One day, she told me she was going to a conference (which was the Cross Current Conference with the Cultural Influencers Group), and I simply wanted to be with her. With little idea of what was it about, I signed up as well. Peer influence sometimes can just be innocent and blind, but it is in God’s plan.
Remembering the first meeting we had in April 2019, a sunny spring weekend in Woltersdorf, my ears were attentively listening to the on-going discussion, my head was trying to make sense of it, my eyes kept wandering and my breath was there for a lot of laughs.
I might not be able to still make sense of every discussion, but one invitation I have taken in is that God invited me to be a true human being, and He invites me to have an intimate relationship with Him. While I am writing it at this moment, it seems so simple, but it became so personal to me at the time.
I believe it was through the discussion, through the questions we reflected on together, that my picture of God was adjusted and it became clearer who God is.
Getting more personal
Throughout the meetings, it was not only my relationship with God which became more personal, but also between myself and people around me. We reflected on the meaning of worldly and spiritual, how inappropriate it is to look at these two world views as absolutely separated in their own space. Our inspirer Marsh helped us to understand that
“worldly is like living in the world as if the world is all there is; while spiritual is like living in the world in the power and the presence of spirit, living in the fullness of reality.”
This specific reflection broke the chain in my mind, and because this chain was broken, I realise I talk about my beliefs a lot more naturally with people around me. A friend of mine and I discussed about the definitions of religious and spiritual for ages, and through this reflection, we both finally came to the same page. He became open to Christianity, and when he encountered some readings from Christian beliefs, he told me how differently he now perceives Christianity. It’s the same in the office, I talk about my friendships from the church family, like anyone discussing about what they did during the weekends, I share with my general manager about the projects I am engaged in, in my church community. My tongue no longer hesitates to share what we Christians do, because we live in the same material world, like anyone, everyone. As my mind changed, my tongue (sharing) follows the change, and amazingly, people around me change their perception of church and Christian lives as well.
There's joy in the journey
There is so much to share about what God has done in this journey of our Cultural Influencers Group. It is something absolutely unique. It was like a “mind gym”, meeting face to face as well as virtually. I feel like our friendship has just started and we will continue to meet face to face or virtually. I praise the Lord, for while I had no idea the moment I signed up, He has always bigger ideas than me and He goes before me, which I never could imagine or expect and I could not even know to ask for.
Participating in the Cultural Influencers Group from Cross Current is a challenging and maturing experience. It raises a lot of questions which I never thought about, like God invites me to be a truly human being. Man alone is not good. This is not limited to marriage, but rather like our triune God, people are meant to be relational. What is spiritual, what is worldly? Discussing all these issues with a remarkably diversified group was an amazing and rewarding experience. I enjoy and treasure the friendship we have developed between us, experiencing struggles and growing together.
I am very thankful for the Cross Current Ministry: I had always been wondering how to leverage my belief and life in reality, as I often felt I was being torn apart. Being professional at work and being a good Christian on Sunday are two different lives, which were constantly compared and therefore divided inside me. I felt I am two parts instead of being one and the same person.
With Cross Current, my new life in Christ is integrated and it is an amazing feeling.
I really hope Cross Current work will continue and be able to reach more and more Christians, that our world will be a better world, our workplace will become a better workplace, if we have more integrated Christians out there