My faith is like a small bouncing ball out of a vending machine. It bounces up and down and then I have to chase after it. And now that I just wrote those two sentences I have a further realization that perhaps that’s not faith after all because if I had it wouldn’t it be more static? And I certainly wouldn’t have to chase it down.
I see people all around me in support groups that have strong faith. They don’t lose sleep over whether they will have the wolf at their door kicking them to the street. Nor do they worry about losing a job, or becoming too ill to work. They have faith that their Higher Power has a plan for them.
For me, I’ve had too many bad things happen that I feel like I always have to ready for the next bit of bad. Faith feels scary to me, like I’m giving up the 24 hour watch, like I will miss something big.
I don’t know what else to say about this. The subject stumps me completely. Full stop. I know nothing. I only know that having it will likely bring me more inner peace because people that seem to have it appear that way.
About a year ago a good friend made a suggestion that worked for him. He suggested that I choose a person to trust. He said that as I start to trust this person more with sharing things about me it will be easier to contemplate having faith in a Higher Power. I’ve done that, found someone to trust. However, I’ve not experienced having that trust rollover into full-on faith in a Higher Power. My faith is intermittent, like bad wifi in a cafe. For now, that will have to be enough. I can’t eke out what isn’t there.
I appreciate your contemplation of faith because it is such a subjective experience. Faith, as it relates to willpower and the ability to control your impulses to me has always seemed silly and unnecessary at best, and infuriating and patronizing at worst. The latter being typically representative of the twelve step program in AA. Sorry, AA, we all have the power to control our drinking with the help of tapering down and easing withdrawal symptoms. To put that responsibility onto some hypothetical higher power, to me, is counterproductive. There is something more wholesome about not having that kind of spiritual dependence. Maybe that’s just me. Whatever keeps people from mass murder and self-harm, I guess.
Never liked any 12-step group that talked about a Higher Power. I tend to lean toward Buddhist teachings although I was brought up a Southern Baptist/Presbyterian. We are all connected, all part of the energy of the Universe. I do believe in guardian angels — I’ve had situations in my life in which without one I would not have survived. What I believe spiritually has evolved over many years of learning and research. For me, faith has layers. I have faith in the power of the Universe for example, but not in Donald Trump.
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Ah, hell, Shepherd, I ain’t looking for help from on high. That’s a long wait for a train don’t come.
Shepherd Book: Why when I talk about belief, why do you always assume I’m talking about God?
I think on this exchange quite a bit when I think about my faith. I do have Gods, but they are not ones that one pray to as such, much less assume that They will sort things out for me. They are ones that I give thanks to for what I have…and sometimes for what I don’t, and they expect me to look for them for lessons. One of these lessons is that there is a community – sometimes where you do not expect it – and without this community – one can not survive through the darkest times.
You are strong person – certainly stronger in ways that I never understood when I met you. I have faith in you.