If there is one thing I have learned about life during all of these years I have been on this planet, and in all the things I have done it is this:
Oh yes, and quite suddenly sometimes as well. Sometimes in vicious and messy ways…and that it is this very fact that WHY I am doing what I am doing.
The reason I am bringing THIS particular subject up is because it is an election year…(WHAT?!?!?) …seriously…people seem to get all up in arms about WHO to elect…WHO will make the best politician/president/prime minister etc…I say this: Why worry about a prime minister, or president when I already have a KING..?
(trust me…this segues nicely into the topic I am working at)
See, I know how important some people feel an elected official is. I know they worry about their taxes, lifestyles, savings accounts, futures, schools, etc…it is not lost on me. I too used to worry about these things.
Here is the point I am driving at: FAITH.
See, to me faith is EVERYTHING. No, I do not mean in a “HEY HALLELUJAH!” kind of way..I mean in a “It governs every aspect of my life” kind of way.
My faith tells me that no matter WHO is elected, no matter WHAT kind of lies/promises they say, I have someone who DOES keep His promises no matter what.
“My zeal has consumed me, Because my adversaries have forgotten Your words.
Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them. I am small and despised, Yet I do not forget Your precepts.…” Psalm 119:139-140
Faith is not some vase you take out and put on the table when company is coming. Faith is not a fad (like wearing a cross is right now) to be discarded when the next season’s fashions come in…faith is a LIFESTYLE…..ALL ENCOMPASSING (or at least, it SHOULD be if you are doing it right). Faith is that belief inside of you that there is someone/something greater than you watching over you, guiding your heart to do the right thing.
For some faith is a Sunday Church thing, and that is okay..FOR THEM…it fills their cup, so it is not for the likes of ME to judge them for it.
For others faith is a passive thing…like…”yeah, I eat a bagel on Friday…so I am Jewish”.
Faith, for me, dictates my every waking hour, thought, motion, and reaction to whatever this world throws at me. It’s moral teachings guide my interaction with everyone I encounter, every place I enter or leave, every thought process as to the day itself. THIS is MY faith….I mean, some may say “Yeah, but that is you”…true. THIS IS ME. Do you think I suddenly just one day said “You know what? I think I will give up EVERYTHING I own, receive NO pay, put on this collar and just start a’preachin”..??? No…I was not always a Christian…and believe you me, it took SERIOUS thoughts as to the ramifications of what it would mean before I put on the collar.
MY faith is no bigger than a mustard seed….yep…that small…and yet, I found peace, love, joy, and riches BEYOND what this mortal world can offer. Here is the kicker: I GET PAID EVERY DAY.
I see it in the smiles, laughs, and tearful consolations from my Parish every single day…”Heaven”, for me, is a BONUS…sort of a “Retirement package” if I do my job RIGHT.
Now, some out there are ‘offended’ by my faith…how can that be??? I mean, it is not THEIR faith, right? I have not said anything degrading, or demeaning about THEIR faith…so…why is MINE suddenly not acceptable?
They tell me “There is not God”…and “It is all a fantasy” …or “He is not real”…and yet, I notice they tout things like “Science explains how we came about”…and “Science explains what happens after we die”…..and “When you die, you are just DEAD”…
Let me retort…and let us suspend disbelief for a second…
“The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.” – Psalm 14:1b-1c
Science explains it all…eh? Well, how many scientists HAVE died and come back with these so-called ‘revelations’ of their theory? Have they journeyed to the ‘other side’ and come back saying “oh yeah..been there..done that…nothing to see here folks”???
According to MY faith I have a FIRST HAND ACCOUNT of what happens…oh yes..my Master (Jesus, for those of you who cannot guess who my ‘Master’ is) tells me in His words EXACTLY what awaits me should I prove worthy and stay the course.
No, I have not ‘Seen God’…as many have asked me…
“God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.” – 1 Timothy 6:15b-16a
But I HAVE felt Him…in my Heart…in my soul…in the smiles and thanks of those I help.
Kinda sounds a LOT better than “Worms and dirt” and “Nothing” (how do they know? I mean, NOTHING? WHAT IS THAT?!?!?)
Okay, so…if what they say is true, and science IS explaining ‘everything’ that happens to make a human a human, and where we go ‘after’…Have they any CONCRETE proof that what they propose is, indeed, FACT? No..it is based on conjecture…and they HOPE they can prove it. See, I could say “I have been to Alpha Centauri” and without any supporting FACTS then everyone will scoff and laugh, and poke fun at, and belittle me…right? So..how come no one is scoffing at them?
See, MY FAITH tells me…not YOUR FAITH..not THEIR FAITH..MINE…MINE ALONE..FOR ME…not for everyone else (or the weak of heart 😀 ) that when I DO eventually die, I KNOW what happens to me…it is PROMISED.
I may not get to (what my faith calls) Heaven, but I WILL have a chance to at east HAVE THE HOPE OF IT…because my God PROMISED me I would.
Therein lay the difference, boys and girls, between SCIENCE and FAITH.
My God promised in His word that if I follow His laws, obey His decrees, and live my life in accordance to the guidelines He dictated, then I would one day (hopefully) NEVER have to worry about things like money, or food, or health…so that kind of trumps elected officials ‘promises’ by a LONG mile..
Now then…onto the next subject…
EVERYTHING in this world is transient…it will either be lost, stolen, broken, sold… they say “You cannot take it with you” for a REASON. IT MEANS NOTHING ONCE YOU ARE GONE.
So..there you are…lots of ‘toys’…fat bank account…trendy wardrobe…the right everything…and then, *BOOM*, the 5 O’Clock crosstown bus totals your new Porche with you in it…and it is all gone. The scientists never told you about THAT, did they. They never told you that the things you leave behind are just that…THINGS.
So…why am I NOT afraid of dying? Because, that is my FAITH.
In his world of shifting beliefs, and scary people who like to kill in the name of those beliefs, I would not change my belief even if threatened with death.
I would die for my belief as surely as I would die to save a life …as surely as a fireman would rush in to a burning building to rescue a child, or as a police officer would rush into traffic to save a puppy.
“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” – Matthew 10:28
WHY? Because I know what is HERE, on this mortal plane, is nothing…transient…fleeting. What lay INSIDE of me has the potential to be ETERNAL…live ONCE here in a good life helping others and believing in my God, live FOREVER THERE in His kingdom He promised…
Can any politician or scientist promise you that?
My faith, should I die suddenly, SHOWS me what happens after I am gone…people will shed a tear for me…people will mourn the loss of me.DECADES from now people will be smiling at the jokes I told, and their lives will be easier because of the message I have gently pressed into their hearts…but those who are of like minded faith know that one day they will see me AGAIN and will be able to wipe those tears off their heart.
If you go by the latest trend in beliefs, then these people without any faith whatsoever will MAYBE shed a tear, post a message on facebook, and 10 years from now will only PASSIVELY remember you.
See, I am not dismissing their ideology…I am simply trying to make a point…and it is this: Do not try to change MY faith simply because YOU do not believe as I do…
True, I ‘preach’ on occasion…true, I DO wear my cross/crucifix proudly displayed …(To me it is more a badge of office than something to get up in arms about…like a police badge is to a police worker, or crown to a royal)…but does that make me wrong for having faith in something YOU do not believe in?
People say “It does not give you the right to shove your religion down our throats”..(that seems to be their battle cry lately)…does YOU telling me how ‘wrong’ I am, or how ‘There is no God’ make YOU right? No…obviously…because YOU are still scoffing at ME and those like me…loudly…publicly…and, if I may use YOUR choice words…”Shoving YOUR faith down OUR throats”.
See the duality?
I am of the mind “Each to their own, and the truth that lay therein”…I cannot force someone to believe in my God..nor will I… but I also do not expect you to tell me to ‘shut your mouth’ every time I feel my faith inside of me MOVE me to help another.
This is what separates the people of faith (WHATEVER FAITH) from those who believe in NOTHING. The plain and simple fact that I am WILLING to help another without thought of payment given or received.
My faith shows me my morals…so that I can say (even if my faith is wrong in the end) that while I was here, I did all I could to help people get through THEIR lives with as little negative impact as possible…that I cared enough while here to DO something about the pain I see flourishing in this world…without counting the cost in dollars and cents.
ANY idiot can help an old lady across a street…but how many have the courage to shoulder her bags, pick her up, and carry her home? THAT, ladies and gents, is the difference between faith, and not having faith.
So, I leave you with a quote…one I think applies…and applies well….
“I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live as if there isn’t and to die to find out that there is.” -Albert Camus