Myself (Bearded) & Cory (Non-bearded) with Faithbox’s first samples.
How the hell did I get here?
Four years ago I was an atheist in Florida running a design agency called The Pancake Movement. If you had told me that I would refer to myself as a Christian, I would have laughed at you. A year ago, I wouldn’t have believed that I’d be comfortable speaking outwardly about my own beliefs and faith, and, never in a millions years would I have imagined running a faith-based startup.
Yet, here I am, happier and more passionate than ever. I spent the first few months of summer struggling to figure out how to create something meaningful and the last few months trying to build a team and execute that vision. The result is a Christian company (and product) geared towards stacking up as many wins as possible. More wins than DJ Khaled. Seriously.
Growing up, I was unable to find sufficient answers or guidance to questions about faith, God, and religion — s0, as I was finishing up college and spending hours upon hours in a genetics lab, the easiest solution was to dismiss every notion of religion. To be fair, Jesus, himself, could have been there to answer my questions and I wouldn’t have listened. I’ve always said how open-minded I was compared to others at Auburn, but I wasn’t open-minded, I just had different perspectives.
It wasn’t until many years later when I worked with a private non-profit in Fort Lauderdale that my eyes were reopened to how much of a positive impact one person could have on others through simple, selfless actions. It would take me another year before I realized that this dose of faith in humanity had opened me up to God and Christianity, albeit a very different flavor than what I’d grown up with.
Instead of attending church, I found myself sneaking off for a few minutes of the day for peaceful reflection — sometimes on a verse, sometimes on a quote, and sometimes just on the silence. Instead of proclaiming the pros of Christianity, I chose to challenge myself a little each day to be a better person towards others. I didn’t speak at all about being Christian, I didn’t feel the need to talk about it. It was personal and private.
Fast forward to this past summer when Faithbox started to take shape. Initially, I thought Faithbox would be a great medium to share simple ways for others to enrich their faith and make a positive impact through simple actions and reflections, and I still believe it will be. What I didn’t count on was the almost immediate impact that starting the company would have on me — before we’ve even sending out our first box.
Over the last two months, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many incredible people and hearing about their struggles and faith journeys. Through hearing these different perspectives, I’ve been challenged to re-examine how my Christian faith fits into my own life. I’ve been getting out of my comfort zone a lot (this post, for instance) and I’ve even been looking for a regular church again — my Nana is so pumped.
In many ways, I had become complacent and thought that my own faith-based practices were all that I needed. Well guess what? Complacency sucks. I’m thankful for the people who, without even knowing, have helped me overcome that.
I’m Willie Morris and I’m a Christian.