Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ready to unload

It’s the first day of Lent, and I’ve decided this year, instead of giving up something, I’m going to take on something. I’m going to spend these forty days thinking and writing about my faith. It’s a gauntlet my sister threw down, and I have some ambivalence about taking it up, but what can it hurt? I want to become a person of stronger faith, to allow my faith to take control of my life.

As with so many of those Christian cliches, though, I mean exactly those words, but I don’t mean what is commonly understood by those words. I want my faith to be real, to be the guiding force behind my life, but by that I mean faith in its largest possible sense: the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. All of us live by faith. All of us shape our lives based on things unseen.

I’m more than a little afraid of the challenge. I’m afraid that I don’t have that much to say about my faith. I’m more afraid of putting what I believe in public, of what everyone will think. I’m not sure how many of my readers are Christians, and how many are atheists, and what kind of spectrum lies in between. Deep inside, I know it doesn’t matter. My faith is the most important thing in my life, and if I can’t be honest about it in public, what does that say about me?

My parents are missionaries, which means that they spend their lives actively living according to the dictates of their faith. More than that, they spend their lives trying to convince others of the truth of their faith. I don’t believe, anymore, in converting people to the truth of my faith, but that’s because that’s not what my faith encompasses. One thing I do believe, though, whole-heartedly, is in talking about faith. In talking about the things that lie under the surface of our everyday lives, the things around which we orient ourselves without even realizing it.


Rogelio said...

I guess we all have to set goals and deadlines, or we simply end up sitting here waiting as if something would simply come to us if we wait long enough. My mother once told me that she was undecided in her faith, asked for God's help, and woke up in the morning knowing the answer, and she never doubted again. And some people get "saved" in dramatic, almost Broadway fashion. But it has never happened that way to me, and so I sit here, waiting.

Melissa said...

I know exactly what you mean. They used to have this saying at the church I attended: "let go and let God." I know that if I really let go and let God, I'd just end up lying in bed until someone locked me up. One also has to ACT. That's the hard part of life.