Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Lately I've just been exercising my faith muscles. There's a lot going on with me lately. You can't worry about every damn thing. Sometimes you need to just recognize that you do what you can, and what you can't do... you'll deal with, like you've dealt with everything else you couldn't control. Faith is an excellent tool for that.

So many people seem to be atheists and agnostics. It's getting more and more acceptable for people who don't subscribe to "organized religion" to say so and not be reviled. I'm glad that our society has become tolerant enough for that. That said, I don't really understand atheists. Not because I think you have to have an organized code to live by in order to live well and compassionately, but because I can't imagine life without faith. I totally understand agnostics' reluctance to state with certainty a belief in something that they cannot prove with certainty. I personally believe that the difference between someone who is agnostic and someone who subscribes to religion is a choice of whether or not they choose a faith.

I don't think faith is an easy thing. It may be for children, who wide-eyed and trusting, will accept what they are told. But I believe that maturing minds must try what they profess to believe. They should examine it and ask questions. They must, at some point, come to terms with the limits of their knowledge, and then in turn decide whether or not they are comfortable with those limitations. Even still, they must decide, what explanation, if any, answers the questions many of us have about the nature of life, our purposes, and our futures. In my mind, this process is where the atheist parts from the agnostic, and the agnostic from the religious adherents.

In any case, whatever you choose, it was chosen. Atheists choose not to believe in anything. Agnostics choose not to believe the same things that religious adherents choose to believe. But it is a choice, and for those religious adherents who try to strengthen their faith through trials, it is a continually made choice. I have to constantly make the choice to be a person of faith and subscribe to the religion that I have chosen. I do it because I find faith to be filling and inspiring. I find it to be strengthening and empowering. When I need it to be, I find it to be chastening and character building. I don't think that I'm a mental midget because I recognize the limits of my understanding. Though my faith is cerebral in many ways, it has more to do with the inclination of my heart and intuition. And I am okay with that. It is enough for me. I believe that where my limits are, the Creator I believe in takes over. I can't imagine an existence without that.

I believe that in my various day to day concerns, it is He in whom I believe that makes everything work out alright in the end.

I don't need to push this on anyone else. But if anyone is open to it, I would gladly share my faith. I hope to mature to a point in my faith where people see my wellness and want to know what it is that sustains me. But in my mind, regarding public life, my faith is private, not because I'm ashamed, but because I figure that I don't want anyone telling me what to believe, so in turn, I think it is the merciful and loving thing to do to avoid assaulting others' will with my own. I understand that other people of faith can be a pain in the ass, with all their attempts to insinuate their beliefs into public life. But it troubles me - all of the ridicule that people of faith are increasingly subjected to as nonbelievers find an increasingly braver audience in each other. And I'm not just talking about that movie, either. Many of the depictions of people of faith are downright insulting and disrespectful. End of tangent.

I'm thankful for my faith. It has been a much needed medicine for me lately. I am so glad to have it. I am so very blessed.