Co-written with Kirk Taylor.
Let’s talk about Faith. There are so many times in life that we just have to surrender and have faith. It’s sometimes in the simple things, like you’ve studied enough and you just have to have faith that it is enough. You’re caring for a sick one or children, and you’re trying to hold down a job, and you just have to have faith that it is enough. You’ve got a long list of work to do and you just have to have faith that you’ll get it all done. These days, that you’re wearing your mask and mostly staying close to home and you’re erring on the side of caution. But there are things you must do and people you must see. You just have to have faith. That you’re not actually going to boil to death in the excessive heat of summer.
Faith in yourself. Faith in others.
Faith in God.
Has anyone ever tried to prove to you that God does not exist? Of course they have. The big argument is that if you can’t prove it, it must not be true. Usually this case is stated as: “prove it”. Sometimes, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to prove God exists? Maybe. Maybe not.
Has anyone ever tried to prove to you that God does exist? Have you tried to prove that God exists?
In proving God exists, maybe you’ve been told that the Earth cannot be more than 10,000 years old because of cosmic dust depth on the Moon. Maybe someone showed you pictures of human and dinosaur footprints on the same geological strata. Or perhaps someone simply argued that natural selection is insufficient to explain the vast variety of life on Earth (if you’re a kid, enjoy last week’s Lesson). Therefore God must exist.
But truly, is the existence of God predicated on whether humans and dinosaurs existed together on Earth, or were separated by 93 million years?
Do you really want to be able to prove that God exists?
To the faithful, the answer to both these questions is an absolute no. Why? Because if you can prove the existence of God, there is no need for Faith in your life. Faith is one of the most important tenets of Christianity.
If one could prove that God exists, then of course, everyone would profess their belief and Love for God because they would know, without a doubt, that it was the only way to get to Heaven – or avoid Hell if that is a tenet of your belief. Belief would be reduced to a simple weighing of the scales of what is in it for me. We would no longer be doing what is right simply because it is right. We would do it because we would know we’d be in trouble if we didn’t. We wouldn’t need to contemplate or study to connect to God. We’d know God existed and we’d probably have that “rule book” we talked about last week for what (exactly) to do when (exactly). We wouldn’t seek wisdom and truths for ourselves. The answers would be clear.
We wouldn’t seek faith. We wouldn’t go through bouts when our faith is challenged and then strengthened through life’s sufferings and seekings.
Our religion would be reduced to something small and shallow if the fundamental truths were demonstrably provable to anyone with the slightest knowledge of science or logic. There would be no personal or internal work to be done. We wouldn’t strive to be good people, we’d just follow the rule book.
It would be a sad world if people behaved in a good and charitable manner simply because they had proof that this was the only way to eternal life, or the blessings of God. I would argue that we would lose true human connection if we only behave for the selfish benefit there was to be obtained by obeying the rules set down by the entity that you were absolutely certain could back up their edicts with omnipotent power. Perhaps, that is also a bit of a scary world. Maybe a world lacking in free will.
It is only through Faith that kindness, charity and goodness are granted the magic of selflessness. Harken back to last week: selflessness is the opposite of evil. It is Good and ultimate Good, God-head, is completely forgetting the self. We take care of our fellow man not because we know that we will be punished if we do not, or rewarded if we do, but because we have Faith that it is the right thing to do. We have faith that the being that commands us to do it is good and righteous in its own right. Absent faith, we are no longer seekers and helpers, we are merely following the will of the rule book.
Take a moment to think about your Faith.
What do you have faith in?
Here is what I have Faith in:
There is a God, and that God is both Good and wants what is best for his creations.
I have Faith that, even if I do not understand how what I see occurring today works toward the benefit of all, the ultimate result will be that which is better for everyone.
I have Faith that the arc of history has improved the lives of all humankind, and that it will continue to be this way, because to believe otherwise would be a rejection of my Faith.
I have Faith that if I strive to make life better for the small circle of friends, family, acquaintances and strangers that I interact with, no matter how small the effect, that I have made the entire world a better place, and have pleased my God.
I have Faith that if I fail in my efforts to make the world a better place that I will be forgiven for that, and that all I have to do to please my God is to try my best to be a better person every day.
I have Faith that small acts performed with a good heart trump even the largest acts performed with selfish motives.
I have Faith in the people who surround me. That they support me, love me, and forgive me even when I can not see it.
What do you have to add to the list of I have Faith?
MORNING’S READINGS AND PRAYER:
Mark 11; 22 & 24-25 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. I tell you then, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, if you have a grievance against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you the wrongs you have done.”
Closing Blessing: Loving God, help us to have faith in your light and your wisdom. Help us to have faith when the world, and our lives, seem so troubled. Guide us to do good, to be good, and to see good. Help us to be guides and beacons of hope and faith for others. Amen
Photo Credit: Frank Cone