TFFT: What IS Faith?


Anyone can have a theory about how something should go.  We have all heard people instruct others on how to raise their kids, or how marriage works.  They can have plenty of ideas and suggestions, but until they actually get married, or have children of their own, are their methods ever tested?  We also see where sometimes these same people find out their own advice was completely wrong.

The point is that nothing is really owned until it is “tested.”

Maybe the point of “religion” was simply to learn.  It seems to me every religious figurehead was more about the teachings in action, then they were about gathering around and high fiving themselves over what they knew, or even engaging in endless ritual.  Maybe we are meant to take what we have learned and climb the mountain, hone our skills, intensify our understanding, find out what our connection to God is really about.  Maybe we need to stop looking around us to see what everyone else is doing and start focusing on our own feet and hands and what they are doing and where we are going.

Nothing in my life made any sense until I was so beaten down by life’s circumstances I finally surrendered and admitted I had no idea how to fix it.  I gave up the need for smart answers and control and simply said, “help.”   Only it was not a help that was ever intended to be answered by my church, or even my friends or family.  It was a “help” that finally left me raw and naked with not a single obstacle between me and the real source of power that had always been there but I could not see through all the rhetoric and ritual.

Did I have to go through that?  Probably not.  But I clearly made choices that prevented me from getting there while vacationing on a warm beach somewhere.  Like many people, sometimes life has to use a 2X4 across my back to get my attention.

I surrendered.

Since that moment I have found my life on a path that has led me more away from the crowd and deeper into connection.  Those connections are intensely personal and have come in the most unexpected ways.  I have endured judgment and ridicule from others who are uncomfortable with my not caring about conforming but it is ok because even that has been a tool for my understanding and learning.  Knowing my own journey has made me more supportive of the journey of others.  It has allowed me to accept those I love without any need to control their lives or tell them what to do.  That is an incredibly healthy thing and I am hopeful that perhaps the courage it has taken for me to let go and walk away, will inspire and motivate others to do the same.

Life has meaning so beyond the illusions of this world and the choice of whether to merely survive or to actually live our lives is really up to us.

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