16 November 2006

A Life of Faith

Faith is a fragile but vital thing. Lives are acts of faith. Relationships require faith. Learning suggests faith in the future relevance of what you’re learning. Many of us are aided through life by faith in a God of love. But one of the hardest things to retain faith in is the self you have yet to become.

Faith is the evidence of things not seen. That is, it is evidence that is created because the individual undertook a task or project not prompted by evidence but, rather, by hope or expectation. A life of faith need not require faith in the supernatural, metaphysical, or God.

All of us have some notion of what we aspire to become. To lose faith in some variation of that is to accept that our life will never be different than what it has been. At best this prospect is tiring. And oddly, such resignation is itself an act of faith – faith that things will never change.

The beauty of faith is that it doesn’t require past evidence. The beauty of faith lived is that it will eventually create its own evidence. If even one person has faith that a God of love works through individuals to show care, there will be evidence that a God of love works through individuals to show care. If you have faith in the you who has yet to be, you will eventually create evidence of that self. Faith is a fragile but vital thing. Nurture your faith until it reaches the point that it has produced its own evidence.

I’ve grown convinced of two things. Most people have little sense of their own potential, of what they could become, of the impact they could have, of the fullness with which they could live life. And almost no one realizes how much work it will be to realize that potential. Getting through it all requires faith. Don’t mock your own sense of potential, no matter how ill-formed or unrealistic it may be. Nurture it, grow it, create something real with it. It just might return the favor, because this is, ultimately, a reciprocal relationship: first we nurture our faith and then it nurtures us.

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