Punch number two came about after watching, of all things, Babylon 5. Yes, I watch Babylon 5. I consider it the soap opera version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The Minbari are my favorite race. They do everything in threes, including their caste system: warrior, worker and religious. The main character on the show, Delenn, is of the religious caste, so we see a lot of how those folks live.
The purpose of the religious caste is to express the religion of the Minbari, which is, in typical sci-fi fashion (if the goal isn't mocking religion in general, that is), an androgynous mismash of one-with-the-universe, reincarnation, karma kind of stuff.
Delenn is a kind of priestess, being high up the religious hierarchy, and everything she does expresses religious significance. This really comes home during her courtship with John Sheridan, but it's visible in most episodes. She's like a woman monk who can marry.
It got me thinking that if this fictional character could live her entire life with an active awareness and implementation of her religion, why don't I?
Yes, I know she's fictional, but I watch these shows because they make me think about my own life, so bear with me.
I have a real religion, and relationship, with Christ. Why is that not a deliberate part of my day? Praying, study of my holy book, applying what I study, seeking a oneness with Christ instead of the universe. Why couldn't I be as open and nonchalant about that as the Minbari are? No one looks twice at Delenn when she does her religious stuff. Yeah, yeah, she's Minbari, but the concept isn't that far off. The only downside I could see was starting. I might get some odd looks at first, but people would get used to it.
I started. I started practicing my faith openly, with references to God and Jesus, with prayers, with attributing my actions to One above me. Yeah, I got a few looks at first, but practice makes easier, and nowadays people don't blink twice when I bring Him up. In fact, I've had more opportunities to witness than ever before, and in far more natural circumstances than meeting that stranger on the bus.
The hard part is the accountability. When I screw up, God gets the blame. I figure He's a big boy. He can handle it.
Keep the faith.