The Gift of Faith

In this crazy world of ours, it’s really hard to comprehend what’s going on: negativism, prejudice, guns, attacks. Maybe people are angry. Maybe they’ve been swayed by idealistic propaganda or unrealistic promises. The reasons really don’t matter. I’m willing to bet that many who engage in this violence grew up in good homes. (Yes, even the inner city poor can come from homes where parents teach right from wrong.) In those homes such activity is unacceptable.

The problem seems to be that everyone has their own belief system and, if you don’t believe the same way, too bad. It could be the almighty dollar, bias, power or drugs. In any case it energizes them. Let’s face it, though, everyone has problems. What happens when your belief system fails? Where does one go for relief? How does one find peace?

“In dark times,” my wife recently shared, “I simply cannot imagine how anyone who doesn’t believe in God can get through it.” She’s right, you know. Call that higher power “God”, call it “Allah”, call it whatever you want. There IS a supreme entity. Too often we only reach out to that Power when we’re in serious trouble.

Faith is a gift. It is the ability to believe in that higher power. God is always there.  God won’t force us to believe and needs to be invited in. We must accept God – accept the gift of faith.

I recently finished reading a book about those who came long before us – the Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon. Through science we’ve learned that, even back then, there was the sense of a greater power. Long before writing existed, story tellers handed down images of the past for the people from generation to generation. Sure, the story may have been altered over time, but the essence – the truth – was never lost. The bible is history, telling the story of God’s chosen people. Homer’s Iliad is history validated by the archeological discovery of Troy. Virgil’s Aeneid is history and tells of the origins of Rome.

In the Old Testament Abram was confronted by a burning bush that talked to him. He could have doused that flame and walked away shaking his head. That story, though, is about faith – a gift given to him by “I Am Who Am” and how it changed his life. He and his followers stopped looking for false gods and limited their mystical belief to a single Supreme Being. Noah believed that voice and built an ark. Multiple cultures tell of a significant flood that destroyed the land and the people, so there’s also truth to that story. The bible is filled with ancient stories about God’s chosen people.

Is it really so hard to believe in a single supreme being? All the powers of science have yet to explain our beginning. Oh, there are theories, but none can explain what initial circumstance began the chain of events that led to today. That alone suggests that there is a single supreme power in charge. To accept that belief – to admit that someone or something is greater than the greatest minds, is a good reason to have faith – a gift from God.

With all that’s going on in this crazy world of ours, I resolve to have faith. God is in charge.

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