Faith

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This week I ran across a piece on faith that I wrote several years ago and remembered the conversation that it ignited and thought I’d share it today. I wrote this when we lived in England and I was going through a life and faith transforming season. Reading it again for myself reminds me of a scripture that says there is nothing new under the sun. How true that is and this piece clearly demonstrates to me how cyclical life can be. It is strangely applicable, inspirational and motivational for my present season!

I recently read that the three most volatile subjects, the most responsible for wars and famines, are Money, Politics, and Religion. They divide relationships, countries, and families quicker than anything else. I have no intention of discussing any of the three in this particular writing! I do, however, intend to explore my own idea of faith, excluding all religion, money, and politics, from the mix! I really just want to explore the ever-changing face of my own personal spiritual faith.

Faith is an individual expression of a person’s soul. Faith looks as different to each individual as each face or fingerprint in the world. It is not something that can be bought in a box or sold to the masses. It is not something one is born with or inherits. It is acquired through whatever road this life takes you on! It is nurtured in the moments of sheer joy when you absolutely understand something of the Supernatural. It is developed in the moments of absolute pain, when tears wash away everything you ever thought you knew. It is gathered as you walk your pathway in life and meet souls along the way that teach you, inspire you, love you, hate you, support you, disagree with you, and accept you. It isn’t something tangible or even always explainable. Faith is the connection of a flawed and hopeless human being to the Supernatural.

If my theory is anywhere near correct, then I find myself at a crossroads of faith. My pathway has taken me across a big wide ocean to a new country. My pathway has brought me to a place where I am encountering new people, new ideas, new culture, and new experiences. My spiritual journey has brought me to a place of new beginnings. It is requiring me to start over, to wipe away all that was my life and create again. Now, creating something, whether it is with words, a picture, art, drama, music, whatever….is something that gives me life! The idea now, at this crossroads of my life and faith, leaves me intimidated, fearful, and unsure.

When life has taken me to a place that I cannot navigate alone, this is exactly where my Faith must kick in! This is where my Faith works itself out, shows its true nature, and reveals its character. It is at the crossroads of my life that my faith has grown and matured. It reveals itself in the moment when I stand at the edge of the cliff deciding if I jump and find a new path or turn around and return to the road I was already traveling. It is at this point that my own personal faith chooses an intimate relationship with God, Creator of the universe.  This relationship excludes all religion and tradition, it simply strips away all the external nonsense and finds its way inside to the quiet recesses of my soul, where it is just me and God.

So, the state of my faith right now is a very intimate, raw, and honest conversation with the Almighty about my fear, intimidation, and uncertainty. I must admit, that because of my personality, it is more a really loud argument, negotiation, and persuasive speech.  The Almighty’s side of the conversation is a gentle whisper reassuring me that I can offer my soul at this crossroads and He will take care of it. I encountered a verse in the Bible this week that He is whispering in my ear over and over.  1 Peter 5:6 – “So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you, He’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God, He is most careful with you.” And so, as I sit on the floor throwing, what in all practical sense amounts to a spiritual tantrum, He asks me to live carefree before Him and tells me He is most careful with me.

The antithesis to my Faith and intimate relationship with the Divine is my head. My head requires explanation, the big picture, logic, and reason. The spiritual seeker in me has to test, doubt, and question the very nature of a Supernatural being that would be so kind. What is He up to? What does He want? My faith and head are always at odds with each other. There is no logic or reason to much of our life, our journey, or our faith….that is why it is so difficult to work out! And it ALWAYS requires risk. Each act of individual faith requires me to take a risk, no matter which crossroads I find myself traveling. The risk is huge and overwhelming…risk of failing, being judged, being wrong, being right, being rejected, and too many more to list.

So the question of faith I am asking myself these days is, “Is it worth the risk?” I understand there are all sorts of very spiritual answers some may choose at this point. I can even name a few I am saying to myself! There are all sorts of pre-packaged religious and intellectual sayings and quotes that would seem to be an appropriate response to someone asking that question. But maybe the wiser response is to let the question hang in the air, dangling over the edge of this crossroads, and allow my Faith to work it out, in its own time and its own way. Just as each of you must work out your Faith on the journey your life has you on! I hope that you will each ask those same questions as you travel your journey.

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