Saturday, June 14, 2008

Passion and Faith

You have to admire people who have faith. Faith is a sign of strong personal confidence and conviction. So why is it difficult for someone, with a very practical frame of mind, to surrender everything and believe in an unquestioned authority? Why do some people have faith so willingly and some are so resistant?

If your childhood upbringing does not include any strong feelings of faith, finding peace with yourself may be difficult and frustrating. One common approach is scientific: Everything has a cause and effect. There are concrete reasons for it all! Nothing is ‘just because.’ Unfortunately, it is not that simple.

The human race can be so self-centered and close-minded. Let’s get metaphysical: How can we possibly think Earth is the only place in the entire universe where life exists? Are we the most sophisticated form of life? Do souls exist? Do we have a purpose? Are we merely random occurrences of life? How advanced are we compared to other life beyond our tiny solar system? Is there really a God? Will a faith in God make all these concerns unimportant? There are many questions! Is God truly the answer? Which God is the 'real' God? Do we really need faith? One way or another, I think 'yes.'

Without answers, life can lack satisfaction and closure. Joy may be negated by insecurity and fear about self-preservation and purpose. An elderly woman I once knew had complete inner peace. It was all because she had something that many people lack: A deep faith in God. For her, these matters had been answered and established long ago. God created Heaven and Earth. Jesus is our savior. Live your life following the teachings of Jesus and all will be well.

She was truly admirable. Her faith brought gratification, comfort and joy to her life. It lifted her to a positive plain that does not appear on many people's maps. She shared her joy with everyone who would listen. What a world it would be if we all could embrace life with such confidence! How could a man, who lived 2000 years ago, be such a powerful muse to the world today? Is this simply a method, used by people en masse, to answer all of our primal issues and get them out of the way and off our plates? What about the religions that are still waiting for a savior? Do they find satisfaction just following the traditions begun by their ancestry centuries ago? Is taking this ultimate leap of faith the way to go? Without devotion and conviction, would it truly be called 'faith?'

Faith and passion are incredibly interactive. Without faith, passion is a difficult pursuit. Without passion, faith is blind. Yet, passion can be focused in a myriad of directions. You'll find passion in everyone around you. You'll find it by helping the ones you love. You'll need some to do the things you like to do! It can be a relentless power that can fuel years of work as you struggle to meet your goals. Is a belief in God necessary to have faith and passion? It is hard to say, but it certainly does help.

Watch the dawn rise. Try to understand the miracle of a new day. Look around you. How did all of these things come to be? There must be some sort of superior being or force that created it all with such proficiency and complexity. One point that can not be argued: Life on earth is so amazingly prolific. In God-forsaken places, like the rim of a fresh lava crater, you’ll see plants eking out an existence. The diversity of life is equally astounding. So many different creatures. So many different life forms. There must be an answer as to how it came to be.

Go to the country and look up at the sky at night. The universe is so vast. Does it have form and shape? Does it end? Why were we given the ability to think and wonder about these things? Do we have an obligation to use our intelligence to secure and protect our planet?

One thing that seems to be truly universal is rock. The human exploration of our solar system has shown that there is a lot of rock out there and it is not rare. Are there many different renditions of rock? Certainly. Is there any shortage of rock? Not a chance. Does rock exist throughout the universe? From our very limited point of view, it seems so. What other things are found across the skies? Who knows? Is there an advanced form of life elsewhere? Are there other beings that transcend what we call life?

To find peace within yourself, you need to reel back your line and ropes as far as they will go. Peace can only be found within your soul. You should direct your passion toward finding your peace and then sustaining it. Faith in your decision may become your inspiration to continue. Never forget those around you that bring you joy. When you trim back to the very basics, these companions in your life are truly what count. We all share in our wonder of the mystery of life. Hold on tight to the ones that you love. If this is your passion, this is the beginning of your faith.


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