When I was only a bit younger, my grandmother once told me to keep faith close to my heart & to never give up hope. She was right of course but it would only take me many years to grasp her meaning & to really apply it somehow in the grand scheme of things to my own life.
Perhaps having so-called faith is nothing more than just a state of mind which allows one to have confidence that somehow things will turn out well even if the odds are not in ones favor. Defying all reason & ability or logic, we sometimes comfort ourselves simply by believing in the unknown will see us through. Though faith can sometimes require taking a humongous leap into uncharted territories or relying on unseen forces to take necessary action, we can easily distract our own negativity by placing a degree of trust in someone or something.
Although the term faith is quite commonly referred to as a religious term, I think it goes much farther into realms of near psychosis which could lead to inevitable insanity. Sometimes I find myself a bit more sane or focused if I lack a certain degree of trust or involvement in things which require much faith. Perhaps this could explain my hiatus from the institutionalized church or religions in general even though I was brought up in a Baptist home where lack of reverence for God was simply disgraceful or unheard of. Not to imply that my family was a band of religious zealots or that I'm a nut ball but I preferred to search for all things spiritual by merely delighting in the positive aspects of life & using such written instruments like the Bible as a mere guideline on how one could possibly attain more abundant living. If you become too wrapped up in anything including the spiritual or devoted religions, you soon lose sight of who you really are & the direction of your life. I choose to not let that happen.
I do feel that I'm actually closer to God or the higher powers that be simply by reaching out to others in their time of need or provide assistance when I can. Simply extending my hands to strangers or those who could benefit greatly from my help strengthens my relationship with God & should grant me favor in His eyes perhaps. Having said that, God Himself could easily overlook some of my shortcomings or transgressions if I help to do His work & that in itself is quite rewarding. I don't consider myself a saint nor do I feel that my works are anywhere close to what one might deem angelic. I am, by nature, flawed in my humanity just as much as the next person. Having faith that God will see me through my tough times even though I'm not preaching from the pulpit nor crying out to be saved sustains me or grounds me. We do need that certain grounding in life.
I can't lie to you & say that I've always been so grounded. I am still not completely grounded in faith nor spirituality. Believe me when I tell you there were times when I seriously thought the final chapter in my life was closed & those around me would only be left shaking their heads in disbelief. There were times when I absolutely hated my life & just wanted everything to be over. I will not lie to you & say that those days are far behind me as sometimes those thoughts of residual anger or hatred do still enter my mind. I do my best to abolish such thoughts which do not foster my becoming self-reliant nor do they set any great example for those around me who could very use some guidance. I do pray that one I can truly love unconditionally again & that mental anguish will truly be something I've managed to put to rest rather than the flame that consumes. I do have a great deal of love in my heart for my fellow man but the lack of trust is an ongoing struggle. Only God knows when that will truly cease. It's work but I haven't given up.
Although I don't currently attend any religious services lately, I am by no means an atheist. I have my doubts. I always have. However, this only means that I do crave this spiritual experience or to know even more about how to maintain faith & to not lose hope in a world where things are subject to change virtually at any moment. Given the transformational nature of society or the world we live in, one cannot always be so sure of anything & often our blind searches for something to place our beliefs in are wild goose chases at best. It's hard to live a decent life when so much is expected of you & all the ideas or wisdom you find around do not give you any easy answers. It's discouraging, right? That's when faith comes in. Trust in yourself & those around you that there will be an answer throughout the endless course of your soul searching. It may not be the answer you want but truths will be revealed in good time. Funny how that works, eh?
When do we need faith? Good question. I say it's certainly hard work for anyone to remain positive all the time but having even a small amount of faith may be all that you need to get you through the day sometimes. We can be confident in ourselves but don't ever get too big-headed. Bear in mind these blessings as I refer to them had to have some origin. Things do, in fact, happen for a reason & nothing goes unnoticed in the spiritual realm with proper checking. If you are fortunate, consider yourself blessed but don't take it for granted. That so-called luck can disappear without a moment's notice. Be grateful to the powers that be for everything that goes well & even for the things that don't. Life would be kinda boring if only good things took place & we would never appreciate living if the bad weren't also present. This is where faith comes in. Should the bad things take their toll, feel confident enough that the storm will pass soon enough & you will resolve to exist.
What should we have faith in? I say believe in a higher power. If you are not privy to this, now may be a good time to do a bit of soul searching. Believe in those who compliment your personality & only wish every good thing for you. Your friends & family are there to help you so it's best to keep them close to your heart. Although you can't always grasp their meaning or reasoning behind everything they do, have faith that they mean well & know that they have your back. Believe in those who strive to do good for the community, society, or the country. Although we have no concrete evidence as a general rule of thumb that things will pan out, it will help you & them to project positive thoughts. You'd be amazed at how far positive thinking will take you. Mostly, believe in yourself. If you do not have faith that you are capable of great things, you are setting yourself up for failure. Do not jeopardize your endeavors!
Happy New Years to all! Thank you for your golden eyes!
I originally submitted this to Cracked. They never got back to me, so I'm assuming they didn't go with it. They have strict rules regarding the subject matter… Therefore, I posted this piece in my blog, The Windy Nickel. (www.windynickel.wordpress.com) Maybe you're not religious. Or maybe you are. Let's imagine for now that you are, but something about your religion – besides the wine and wafers – just isn't sitting right. Maybe your questions about texts haven't been answered … more
The plaster cast felt like a glove, and it was about as tough. If I had molded it into a more grabby shape, I probably could have played hockey in it. I couldn't help but make fun of the absurdity of a solid, hard plaster cast of my own right arm. It was to be exhibited on an artistic interpretation of the Stations of the Cross, some kind of Jesus-related thing I had never heard of until a couple of weeks previous. Over the preparation for the exhibit, I also helped mold and paint little crosses. & … more
This is a chapter from my book. Final Fantasy X Final Fantasy X was more or less an impulse buy. I was at Media Play one morning, talking to a friend who happened to be working as one of the clerks there. That was something I did pretty regularly to help make her clerk job a bit more bearable, and I would usually show up around the time the store opened so there would be a minimum of traffic for her to fend off while talking to me. I had had an interview … more
"I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 5:15 That was the Bible passage presented to me by my minister at my 1995 confirmation. I liked it; it had a really cool ring, and it seemed to have a cloaked message about how I was going to go on to become a great religious leader or something. But I also wondered just what the minister saw in me that he thought it fit to bestow … more
Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime, Therefore, we are saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; Therefore, we are saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone. Therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite a virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own; Therefore, we are saved … more
My friends Sean Rhodes and Trashcanman have already written such compelling pieces about this data point; I’m not sure what else I can add. I guess this is where my ‘strawberry tart” (heart) comes in, I’ve always been better in expressing myself through letters and essays, so let’s give this a shot. Faith is something very special to me; I think I can safely say that it has given definition to who I am and what I may become. Being raised by a Catholic mother … more
Faith is powerful. Don't let anyone tell you any different. Faith has the power to go above and beyond our own knowledge. It isn't just a tool most of us use to justify our beliefs. Sometimes it is used to justify our own wrongs and make them right. Faith has the ability to influence us to do right, and the ability to influence us to do wrong. The ability to accept. The ability to deny. Almost everything we do in life, at some point, requires us to … more
Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. The word "faith" can refer to a religion itself or to religion in general. As with "trust", faith involves a concept of future events or outcomes, and is used conversely for a belief "not resting on logical proof or material evidence." Informal usage of the word "faith" can be quite broad, and may be used in place of "trust" or "belief."
Faith is often used in a religious context, as in theology, where it almost universally refers to a trusting belief in a transcendent reality, or else in a Supreme Being and/or this being's role in the order of transcendent, spiritual things.
Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a certain statement is true. It is the belief and the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, based on his or her authority and truthfulness. The English word faith is dated from 1200–50, from the Latin fidem, or fidēs, meaning trust, akin to fīdere, which means to trust.