What Is Faith?

Through my search for understanding, I eventually came to grips with the idea of God and His magnitude.  My image of God as a human figure directing and controlling life with His index finger disappeared, and I began to understand God as something much more complex and larger than I ever imagined.  My internal search brought me to the conclusion that God is not external but is within everything passing before our eyes, everything we touch, everything we taste, and all that we breathe.  You do not have to transcend your body and enter the realm of heaven to spend time with God, you only have to close your eyes and realize His continual presence within and all around you.

Realizing this, I stopped talking to God as I used to.  I mean, who was I talking to you?  I no longer pictured a God nodding his head in understanding at my plight and pondering over whether or not to answer my prayers.  God is not a genie in a bottle, He is an unexplainable, all powerful presence keeping the energy of life ever flowing.  Instead of having a conversation with God I began to simply spend silent time with God, increasing my awareness of His constant presence.  The more I establish this connection the more I begin to manifest all of my desires, ultimately putting the responsibility of my destiny on my shoulders.

Lately I have begun attending church and have been experiencing the immense amounts of love and compassion Christians devote towards God.  It has left me with an empty feeling because that same love and compassion is not present in my life.  I do not see God as someone I can depend on, as someone who understands what I’m going through, as someone who feels my pain, and as someone who loves me as a father loves his son.  I cannot simply have faith that God, whatever He is, will never let me down but will always be there to pick me up and embrace me in my time of need.  I cannot accept these things because these are characteristics of a human being which God is not. 

I have faith that there’s definitely a God in our midst, but I have begun a quest that is quite scary and never-ending, a quest to discover the meaning behind my faith.  To discover exactly what it is I have faith in and how to work with God in order to manifest my desires.  It would be much easier to simply have faith in what I cannot understand and hand over the responsibility of my destiny to the higher powers.

I use the word faith here but I still haven’t quite figured out what the word means?  Does it mean to believe that whatever happens in my life is up to God and he knows what’s best?  Does it mean to believe that whatever is truly in my heart to accomplish, God will provide?  How do you have faith in something that is impossible to understand?

I figured in writing about this topic, the words would flow easily, pouring out of my heart and soul, but the past couple hours have been anything but easy.  I have struggled to get the words out and I am not sure what I have conveyed is what has been on my heart lately.  To put God into words is not an easy thing to do, probably impossible.  That is why I believe we have religion because this allows us to simply have faith, or completely rely on what cannot be understood or explained.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do this.  Unfortunately, accept for those rare glimpses, most of the time I need to understand in order to believe.

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5 Responses to What Is Faith?

  1. Tricia says:

    That is the same question that Dr. Viktor E. Frankl posed in Man’s Search for Meaning. Dr. Frankl was a prisoner at Auschwitz. He states that the question he was asked the most often in his life was, “Why didn’t you just kill yourself at Auschwitz?” His answer revolves around the concept that he believes that man’s primary motivation is not homeostasis or even to live through or for a god, but in fact the search for his/her meaning (a simplified version). Dr. Frankl had some real issues with the traditional notions of god with all that he saw at Auschwitz (he writes more about that in original text, From Death Camp to Existentialism, some of that was taken out of the revised book per my professor). I admit, I have a dark soul, which is my own struggle but I think Dr. Frankl was an extraordinary man, and you seem to write about some of the same things he did…one reason I guess I find the questions you pose within your writing thought provoking and uncommonly abstract for a person within your generation. But who knows, maybe you find this a stupid comment and a waste of time…

  2. Shannon says:

    Colin,I dont think that God is something that anyone can ever put into words. God is different for everyone, and I dont think there ever will be a solid answer. I know you are a fan of "What the Bleep..?" The best line I took out of that movie was (forgive me for forgetting the exact quote) that it is arrogant for us to think that anything that we do will upset a being as powerful and almighty as God. In my opinion, that is one of the most powerful lines I have ever heard.

  3. Anita says:

    This was awsome entry. My children help me grow in my Faith. Not that I think that they are a reward. They did not arrive here FOR ME, but THROUGH ME… speaking of my children I just got a phonecall that my dog ate one of the hampsters… it was a hampster that belonged to my oldest and she already lost one of her hampsters this year.The other two hampsters that live in my house belong to the baby\’s and they are always fine (besides for being set free…).The worst part is that I will be laving to the airport in about 5 hr, so it\’s not like I can go ahead and console her personally… So what do I do to help her feel like God is not targeting her?Anyways… I had to share becouse I got the phonecall while reading your entry.Will be back to visit when I return from my trip.Anita

  4. Patricia says:

    Dr Vikor Frankel\’s Man Search For Meaning has been reccommended to me as well on countless occasions (as per comment here reminds me). I need to read it. Also I noticed someone mentioning What the Bleep -which I assume is the film "What the Bleep Do we Know" I was so intrigued by that film – I could only watch a section of it as I was overwhelmed with all the information and wanted to think about it (then I lent it to a friend before finishing it -I\’ll need to see that too). I share many questions about God and faith. I have had some expereinces which are too long to explain here – but are interesting. As silly and inappropraite as it sounds I also remember enjoying the movie- "Micheal" where John Travolta is an angel. It was interesting. I too have been to several churches in town – one I had to photograph at – it was more of a gospel church and I was the only person there that was not african american – I think it felt really close to God there for some reason – although I too believe some that he is in us – but that was the thing about this church that moved me – the music was unbelievable it was magic. The saxophone made me cry with some sort of relief and some other emotion i don\’t know. It was an interesting experience and I go back to that church. The pstor is a really kind soul and patient with questions and does not preach one way or in an extreme -sometimes extremes make it harder for me to understand. anyway, I\’m babbling now. I think I could ponder on about this subject for quite awhile. I do definately believe in something very strongly though i\’m not sure what it is -how crazy is that? -patti

  5. Shannon says:

    Hey Colin,Thanks for your comment on my space! Glad I can help make you smile! I didnt even realize you were reading my ramblings. :-)Ive already told you this, but I admire you as well!Take care!Shannon

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