(Another small break from our mission trip story. A new installment will be online by tomorrow. Thank you all for your patience and understanding. The grammar in this little story isn’t perfect, but I was thinking about this topic in church today and felt I needed to share.)
What is Faith?
As human beings we walk through life filled with pessimism, optimism, and hope. Sure our lives are also filled with despair, anger, sadness and regret, but without pessimism to keep us wary, optimism to give us guidance and hope which stems from the human race always trying to see the good in everything; in my opinion, we would never have faith.
So where does “faith” come into play?
Faith to me is a feeling, an inner knowledge, a mental security that no matter what happens during this moment in time you are a participant in its outcome. Good bad or otherwise.
When I was younger I had faith. As a church going lad, who worked his way through the ranks from 6 to 16 as an acolyte in the Episcopal Church, I questioned many beliefs, including my belief in God. But the one thing I never questioned was my ability to always have faith. Faith in myself as a human being, faith that no matter how bad things could seem they could always be worse (and sometimes were) and faith in life’s way to throw curve balls around every corner! Yep I had faith alright!
What I didn’t have was an awe inspiring faith in God. As I previously stated I constantly questioned my belief in an almighty supreme being that all should worship blindly. It just didn’t make sense to me. The bible reads as a really good story, one that Hollywood should make into a block buster movie or television mini-series. (Oh yeah that’s already been done) But really, come on, a heavenly power that listens to our prayers and guides its people through the word of the lord? (layman synopsis) I wasn’t buying it!
Here’s the funny thing about faith, until you come to terms with yourself emotionally (i.e. who you are, what you are, how you wish to be perceived, what moral code you follow.) You never really have faith, you are not ready to open yourself up to the teachings of others. A person who walks through life putting up walls can never hear the whisperings from the next room. The more walls a person places in their wake, the harder it is to be reached and at some point that person can never be found.
Faith for me changed the day I met my wife. (I know sappy huh? but true) Many walls I had selfishly placed in my wake, life was turbulent to say the least and the only “faith” I held was that tomorrow sucked, the next day sucked even more and the only future for me was one filled with despair, anger, resentment and hate. Several incidents occurred during this period, challenging my belief system and leaving me with unanswered questions. My wife listened, believed me, then set to changing every negative in my life, helping me answer those questions (not overnight mind you) with persistence, love, an occasional angry moment with the former me (I know hard to believe huh?) and a never wavering faith in my ability to become a better person.
I have rewarded her by trying my best every day.
Today, my mission is simple. Have faith. I use this term quite frequently and those who know me have heard it recited on more than one occasion. Have faith! It really is that simple and I am not saying it to be pompous! HAVE FAITH! If you believe in God then you know the answers are out there for YOU to discover and a general calmness will come over you. Have Faith! Just because an answer isn’t immediately apparent doesn’t mean its not lurking close by waiting for you to accept faith, thusly removing your blinders to witness the options.
Every moment we live, leads to an alternate moment, which may affect someone else’s moment and like a pebble tossed in the water our ripples reach far and wide (stolen from my wife), Have faith those ripples are leading to bigger broader shores!
Our faith is based upon what we believe, who we are and how we live our lives. I choose to believe in a better picture for all of mankind, brought forth with faith, love and prayer.
Having faith has allowed me to remain calm when things turn bad, believe and encourage when discouragement should rule the moment, and have love, true heartfelt love for my fellow man. This doesn’t mean I don’t have my days filled with negativity, anger and discouragement but in the end I always have faith at some point it will all turn around.
Jacy re-awakened my faith in God, her living example guided my stubborn narrow minded beliefs into enlightenment and openness for all. Today she stood in front of our congregation and spoke about our recent trip to Haiti! Watching her speak left me in awe of this amazing woman who I am lucky enough to be married too.
Participating on these last two mission trips are a direct result of my wife, her persistence and love for all mankind. These trips have changed my life forever, filled a void left in my soul and allowed me to see the world in a different light.
Mission work is not for everyone and at one point I too believed it was not for me. But because I answered the call in faith, I feel the need to tell all who will listen of its benefits both emotionally and spiritually.
So ask me a question about our trip, I will do my best to answer. If you see me strolling down the street stop me, lets talk. Most of all remember I had faith God had my back while we did his work. I had faith our church was behind us all the way. I had faith my children would be safe back here at home and I had faith this story I am writing about our journey will reach someone, and change the way the feel about mission work, allowing them to have faith enough to go.
I will go on additional missions, for that I have faith we will succeed.
I have faith in God.
I have faith one day together we all will do great things.
I have faith my love for this woman, my wife is eternal.
I have faith……..Do you?
I love you Jacy… Thanks for being my best friend, partner, wife, mother to our crazy children and all around coolest human being I know….
Merriam-Webster defines Faith as;
Definition of FAITH
1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially: a system of religious beliefs <the Protestant faith>
— On faith
: Without question <took everything he said on faith>