In the latest interview with our members, Arek shares how he lives out his faith in his everyday life. We hope you enjoy reading his inspiring story.
Where would we find you and what would we find you doing in a typical week?
During the week, I usually wake up at 7am. While my wife gets the kids ready for school, I start my work activity. I check my emails, read the morning news, check the weather outside and wonder what the next day will bring. I try to find time for a moment or two in the garden listening to the birds and watching the squirrels, as well as some exercise (usually on the elliptical machine) to give me energy for the day. After the children return from school, we always try to have a meal together, prepared by my wife.
My work activity does not usually stop. Even late at night, I monitor the operation of my clients’ computer networks. Before going to sleep, I try to summarise the day’s events – to give thanks for the good things and think how to avoid any bad things in future.
On Friday evening we will watch a film together or play a game on the console / computers. Saturday is time for the house, working in the garden or in front of the house. But also for a longer walk with the dogs or on the bikes. In the evening I prepare for the live streaming for Sunday’s service.
On Sunday morning, usually two hours before the worship, I prepare the equipment in church for livestreaming the service, making sure all the equipment is working properly. I like this moment when I am alone in the church and I can enjoy the physical silence and the mental silence. After the service, I try to get home as quickly as possible and spend time with my family (and our dogs of course) in the parks. Sunday evening is a time I try to listen to my favourite music programme on the radio.
How does being a Christian makes a difference to your week?
I think I am constantly searching for my relationship with God, and I find the simplest things are the most important. Our relationship with God is rooted in our relationship with our neighbours. That this very simple commandment to love “love your neighbour as yourself” is the essence of being a Christian. I try to be good to others because I feel the joy of the good that others give me.
What challenges your faith?
Daily routine and laziness can weaken our sensitivity and openness to God and to others. I perceive that sometimes we don’t want to be good.
What strengthens it?
Participating in worship and receiving the Eucharist. Prayer, both together with the congregation and privately. Carrying out common tasks in church.
Where and when do you feel God’s presence most strongly?
Every joy I experience – particularly the very serious ones like the birth of my children or the graduation of my eldest. And the small ones like a sunset or a sip of cold water on a hot day. When I see the beaming smile on the face of an elderly and life-experienced person who struggles to move but replies “fantastic” when asked “how are you”. The sight of children growing up and a conversation with a lady selling lovely flowers at a festival saying that she watches Sunday services on YouTube. Listening to music.
Where and when does God feel absent?
I do not consider God as someone who decides the behaviour of people. In the sense that God is not the cause of wars, suffering or the death of many people. We have been endowed by him with free will and it is we who make the choices for which we will one day be judged. Nor do I regard illness or death as acts sent by God. Therefore, I find the classic questions of “where was God and how could he allow such events to happen” to be silly. God’s presence is continuous.
Do you feel comfortable talking about what you believe?
It’s an important part of our lives and I don’t feel uncomfortable talking about it. I am still searching for my relationship with God, my faith is evolving, changing over time and space. It’s worth talking about.