Monday, December 12, 2011

Faith, what is it?

Faith is a word that's been tossed around a lot. Everyone has faith in something. Every time I turn on a tap I believe water will flow. It turns from faith to fact once the water starts flowing. Though if I go to a park and go to turn on a fountain I don't have faith it will work. In fact I'm also leery of the amount of pressure that the water streams out at if in fact it flows at all. In fact even when the water flows I tend to give it a smell to make sure there isn't an odour to it before taking a sip. A simple illustration of a complex word. In the first case I had total faith and in the second case I had serious doubts on several levels.

People will talk about taking things on faith. In many cases they have doubts and really aren't trusting at all. Faith, real faith is all about trusting in what can't be seen or hasn't transpired yet. When I make a bank transfer I don't just do it and never think of it again. I check with both accounts to see that the transaction I initiated is completed as per my instructions. Recently I adjusted quite a few banking instructions and am satisfied it has been done to my satisfaction. I didn't just say "here, do this" and then promptly forget about it. I am ye of little faith when it comes to financial institutions. I do have some faith though since I do put my money there instead of under a mattress :)

If you go to a Doctor for some ailment do you just take his/her advice. If it is simple advice like a year or 2 ago when I had an eye infection the doctor prescribed some drops. I had faith enough to take them and sure enough within a few days all was well. However, if the advice had been "well sir we must remove your eye" I probably would have sought out a second opinion. I wouldn't have just taken it on faith and said "alrighty then gouge it out". So I had some faith in the Doctor but not total faith.

What I am trying to get at is there are different levels of faith. I have a high level of faith in my family members. They have shown me overall to be people of good character(though different levels and expectations for different people) and I trust them in most cases. Much more than a stranger on the street or someone I know casually. There are people I know that have shown me with there actions that they are highly trustworthy. These people I have great faith in that they will do the right thing. However there are others who have shown me by their actions to not be trustworthy. These people I have little faith in. I confess that I hope for the best but expect my hopes to be dashed. That being said sometimes I am surprised by their actions and so my level of trust(or faith) starts to rise.

What does the dictionary say about faith?

Trust in something or someone without prior proof.

Synonyms: acceptance, assurance, belief, certainty, trust

Antonyms: doubt, skepticism

Now for a very long time in my life. I wanted to believe the theory of evolution. I wanted to believe this was all random chance. I was irreligious. Without really knowing it I kind of had a Buddhist/Hindu theology in the belief or faith in man improving himself. I wanted to believe immortality was in the footprint you left behind. The way you affected other lives gave you life beyond your mortal coil. That there was no God and that we were just a higher form of animal life and that someday something would super-cede us. The more I searched for that in life the less evidence I could see of that. As technology increased and evolved the people became lazier and more selfish. Treating others with little regard was the way to get ahead and "win" in this world game. I became disenchanted and disconnected from playing the game. I didn't want to play by those rules anymore. I didn't have faith in the theories, I didn't have faith in the world around me and I didn't have faith in myself enough to overcome it.

So I would pray and I seek God to show himself to me. He was silent. It took a few months from there but I finally came to the end of myself. We all have different levels of brokenness and let me tell you I was pretty broken. Without knowing he was there I called out to him, I bowed down to him and in his own way he started to guide me. I had the faith of a mustard seed but it was guteral and total blind faith. For the first time in my life I believed in something greater than myself. He showed me small but not insignificant signs of his presence but only after I had put my faith in him. I look back now at where I was then and where I am now and I think wow life is so much better now. When I read his word it inspired me. In fact even though I had never read the Bible nor had biblical instruction it was very topical in my life. A lot of times I would say things or do things that I would then read about that very night. It was spine tingling. Jesus was there for me when I called out to him with sincerity of heart.

It is 7 years later now and I still am learning to trust him. I tend to take things back and try to do it by myself but I'm learning and growing deeper with every passing day. A loosening of my grip is all I need to do for the blessings to flow. I look at faith and my path as a train. The Jesus train. I can jump off anytime and go it alone if I choose but the moment I turn around and get back to trusting him the train is right there to pick me up. It may be a few metres from where I jumped off or it could several kilometres back but nevertheless it is there.

Faith is a journey and all you have to is jump aboard. The conductor is calling "all aboard!!" Can you hear him?

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