Food for Talk: Card 4, Faith in God

23 Oct

When a man of goodwill is troubled or tempted or afflicted with evil thoughts, then he can better understand how great a need he has of faith in God.” –Thomas A Kempis

Do you feel you have a need for faith in God? 

This is a timely card, because I have felt a longing to be closer to God recently, probably in the last year or so (definitely the last six to nine months at least). I’ve been taking stock in my life (like I said, the 30th birthday has definitely affected me!) and trying to figure out where my next steps are going. It’s alternately exciting and scary. I’ve really looked at my relationships, I’ve cleaned out junk in my house, I’m trying to take on more responsibility at work, I’ve been improving my physical self, and the major thing that’s left is my spiritual self. And I’ve been working on that as well.

I think most of us, when we’re younger, question God’s presence or place in our lives–I know I did. I think that’s healthy and normal, and what God expects of us. If we never question His love or plan for us, how can we really appreciate Him being there? It’s very easy to take God for granted. My doubts started in high school, and I thought–what if God doesn’t exist? But what I quickly found out is the thought of that upset me so much–it would literally bring me to tears that I was basically alone in the world without someone guiding me–that I abandoned that thought. That didn’t mean I became a super-believer–far from it! Often I felt going to church was very rote and uninspiring, and I didn’t pray very often, or read the bible. But recently I’ve begun changing my attitude towards my faith, and it’s made a real difference. I’ve already described in these notes how I’ve felt the need to take control of my entire life, which is just insanity. It hasn’t made me really unhappy (except in my romantic relationships), but it has left me unfulfilled. So I’ve decided to listen more, instead of always acting on what I think is right. Because He usually tells me the right thing to do. He is the voice inside my head that gives me good advice. Now I have dated atheists and I have friends who are atheists, and I’m sure they would tell me that the voice I hear is not God, but just my good instincts and intuition. But how do they know? How do I know? I don’t–it’s just the beauty of faith. And that faith has to be stoked–otherwise it won’t grow and develop. So I started becoming more active in my faith and my church , and I think it’s satisfied me in ways that other things haven’t. It started when I did a year-long bible study a few years ago, and continued with me joining my women’s circle, and then my under 35- Sunday school group, and it’s continuing with me helping to organize a young professionals group with my friends Kelly and Mary Taylor to bring more young people to the church and connect them to their faith more strongly. But all those decisions have seemed like the right ones. It’s not just about being a member of my church, it’s about being tied to something greater than myself.

My brother, who after the birth of his children has really embraced his faith, is probably the closest thing I have to a spiritual advisor and friend. He keeps me grounded, and keeps me looking at the bigger picture. He understands what it’s like to leave God and come back to him–how our faith changes as we get older and wiser. And how we need it, and Him, to put our life into perspective, to give up the control, to focus on the important things.

I guess the bottom line is without faith, I’m powering my own boat. It’s slow-going, it’s confusing, often I have no direction and I’m exhausted! I’ve tried it on my own, and I just make a mess of things. Faith in Him ultimately makes me more productive, happier, more satisfied. It’s making me give more of myself, it’s making me less selfish, and it’s helping me figure out my own path. These are all positive things!

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