Faith is an interesting phenomenon. When I consider faith in terms of spirituality it has a very religious feel or sense to it, its all about having faith in God and our faith being tested. I remember as child being fairly scared by the Old TestamentÂ stories about faith and hoping God wouldnâ€™t want me to kill my mother as a test of my faith, as I saw that I might let God down by letting my mum live, but end up in hell myself. So faith for me in the past also evoked the sense of believing in things we canâ€™t see or even prove, itâ€™s a blanket way of explaining thing that canâ€™t be explained.
When I questioned the existence of God in the face of so much human injustice and suffering I was told that it was about having faith. So then I associated faith with a kind of blind belief, when reason, logic and common sense failed, just have faith .When you posed a question that didnâ€™t have an answer, well that was a time for faith. So in truth faith in the spiritual sense was not something I gave a lot of thought to. Over the last fifteen years I have had my share of difficulties and hardships but never really ever thought of reaching for something divine and all powerful. Not because I am an atheist or an existential nihilist.Â I did believe in a power within the universe that I considered loving and did believe in God in the sense of a force or invisible energy of love woven into the fabric of reality. I just never really joined this belief in a loving force behind everything and my faith. Yet when I peeled the layers back it didnâ€™t take long to see that there was a relationship and faith played a role in my life but it wasnâ€™t itâ€™s presence that hit me rather its lack thereof. I discovered I believed in a divinity from an intellectual point of view but I had on a day to day basis very little faith in it. It was like on the surface I believed but underneath was a cynic or a doubter.
Having an idea in divinity being true and real is one thing, truly having faith and trust in its power, impact, influence and mysterious ways is another thing all together. This lack of faith revealed itself in a number of different ways.
Firstly just in the way my head is wired in terms of how I approach my problems. My universe is structured in such a way that I face challenges and issues in terms of how to I overcome these problems. Problems relating to my work, my head, my family, my life are all seen as issue I myself must fix, change and overcome. Even if I get support, it is me getting it and or accepting it. I find that I never look at a problem and think that maybe this force in the universe can help me. Maybe this problem itself is this force in the universe. I donâ€™t see my problems in relation to my understanding of the loving universe I believe in and donâ€™t have any faith that all will be ok and everything will work out. Not as a glib platitude you use to reassure yourself as a house burns down and every one you love is on fire, rather a fundamental way of viewing life and the world we live in. The truth is what is the point of having a belief in a loving universe, a higher power, a God , the TaoÂ or whatever term you choose to call it,Â if that belief is divorced fromÂ the day to day workings of your everyday life.
This is what I am starting to feel and see more deeply. That my faith is not just blind belief rather it is trust in the workings and ways of this power. Itâ€™s all the stuff that is out of my control and sphere of influence but is in this loving universeâ€™s hands. My faith tells me that in the universeâ€™s loving hands everything will be ok. This doesnâ€™t mean I will get what I want or have things work out perfectly for myself rather it is the process of consciously handingÂ over what is not mine to control with an attitude of gratitude and care.
Faith is the trust in a universe of meaning and purpose without having to fully know what the meaning and purpose is right now. It is not about neglecting or ignoring my responsibilities. I donâ€™t have faith the loving universe will feed my dog, I know that is something I have to do. For me a big part of what I worry about is not the things I have to do, my responsibilities are what they are. Most of the worry is about things I have very little or no control over, how another person feels, the unknown future, the lost past. Itâ€™s at these mental junctures that I depart from my faith and go into anxiety, control or confusion. I take the futile position and end up feeling the futile feelings. When I take the same problem and replace the mental angst with faith, then something amazing happens. A weight goes, a sense of being centered and present arrives and most profoundly, a peace comes over me. When I supplement the fear with faith I am affirming to myself that I am cared for and the universe is caring. I am absolving myself of the mental weight of working it all out that very moment, I am trusting in myself and I am trusting in the loving universe.
The deepening of my faith is the process of deepening my trust, as it builds up inside of me another marvellous and magical thing takes place. It is as if the universe has heard and acknowledged by act of faith and in return then gives me a sign or validation that I am on the right track. This may not happen immediately and happens when youâ€™re not even looking for it, yet it happens. My position of faith, that internal light that I shine outward saying â€œI know, I trust and I have faithâ€ is heard. For someone like myself that is prone to really worrying, faith it the liberator I wished I discovered a long time ago. Itâ€™s a bridge to that lasting connection. To feel this loving universe exists is one thing; to think is another thing, to have faith is something else. Faith is committing myself to it, its following all the natural logic to its inevitable conclusions. If there is a loving universe, which loves and cares for me then the truth is I really have nothing to worry about. This is worthy of having faith in. As I feel that ,know thatÂ and live that, then I contribute even greater to that same loving universe, my actions are shaped by this faith, my relationship are coloured by this faith, my destiny is driven by this faith. This faith in the power of love and compassion, this faith is the inherent goodness of people and of life. this faith that life is truly a beautiful and magical thing, these things are worth committing myself to, worthy of my faith.