Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Faith and Trust

Let me start by saying that I know this may seem like an odd post, but it is the cummulation of some thoughts that I have been having about specific things I have been witness to. So although it may not make sense to you, I just want to get it all out in a way that describes what I've been thinking about.
I've been thinking today about the power of faith. Faith is really a spiritual strength, not an intellectual one. I have a friend who seems to be cynical about everything. He has to intellectualize everything. If he can't see solid proof for something, it doesn't exist. So you may have guessed, he doesn't believe in God, doesn't believe in life after death, doesn't believe in many things. He looks at the purpose of life in a very basic way, and can't see beyond the here and now. The effects of that belief I would think would tend to make a person less concerned about the consequence of their actions. Unfortunately, I think it would also affect a person's happiness and motivation to live. Faith is more than just a belief in something religious. Faith is a power that can motivate us to greater things. Faith is also a like a trust. It is a power that can motivate us when it is strong within us, or destroy us if we lack it.
It's interesting that a person would only believe in things that can be quantified, but could, at the same time, love another person. Love can't be quantified. It's more than just physical attraction. Love is a power within us, just like faith. There are other emotional/spiritual aspects of our lives that can't be studied by science. Yet spiritual things can be driving forces in our lives.
The problem with faith, is that it can be so easily destroyed. All it takes is one disbeliever to shake the weak faith of another person. If a person is desperately trying to build faith, to believe...or to doesn't take much to cause them to lose that faith. I've been through this experience in my own life. There was a time when I questioned my faith, wondered if I really even had faith. Someone came in to my life at that time who questioned my faith. They constantly made comments that, instead of strengthening me, caused me to doubt. This was my own life's "trial of faith". It was one of the hardest tests I had to go through. But in the end, because I did have real faith, I came out stronger because of the trial.
But what about those who have deep wounds? How can they build faith in humanity when the wounds are still fresh? How does a person build faith when they have no proof that anything good could happen? This goes back to my original point. You can't prove the spiritual things. You can't prove love. You can't prove there is a God. You can't prove there is life after death. But you can believe, and hope. Hope is like a seed that if we nurture it, can grow within us until it becomes faith. Nurturing sometimes involves realizing that those who attack our faith may themselves be struggling. Nurturing may mean that we have to ignore the lack of faith of others, and focus on what we believe to be true. If we put our trust or faith in a thing, or a person, we will be able to see for ourselves if that thing was trustworthy. While it might be difficult to drown out the unbelieving voices of the world at times, we must do this to protect the little seed of faith that we are trying to grow.

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