A Thought on Faith, My Own

     I’m going to do something I don’t  normally do which is wing-it, meaning that  I didn’t preplan what this post was going to be about.  It’s kind of scary for me because I’m a deliberate sort of person.  I tend to be very intentional about what I do, thinking things through, and trying to see the big picture, and what the possible consequences are of what I do.  I do this because I dislike hurting people.  If you knew anything about my past life you’d know how odd it seems to me as I write this because there was a time when caring about how other people felt, or being intentional in the way I did things wasn’t what I was about.  I guess that’s the advantage of having lived almost fifty years.  You can look back and actually see how you’ve changed.
     Sometimes, I think I have a very good view of myself, that I know who I am, and what I am, and that I’m very comfortable in my own skin.  Usually those are the times when I’m deceiving myself, and not wanting to acknowledge that I’m nowhere close to being the person I like to think that I am.  In truth, I think most people live with the illusion that they’re in control of their own lives, that they know who they are, when in reality they’re not sure of themselves or anything else.  I believe that most people, I being one, tend to be two people.  the one they are and the one they’d like to be and we tend to go back and forth between the two.
     I’d love to tell you that after having lived 49 years that I’ve got it all figured out, but it seems the longer I live the more I realize that I have way more questions than I have answers to.  I’ve often thought it’s not the answers we come up with that show who we are in our hearts, but rather the questions we ask.  For example, why do I worry about things when I know after having lived so long that things will work out?  Why do I worry about whether I’m going to have money when I need it when I always have what I need when I need it?  Why, why, why, it’s always those kinds of questions that nag at me; that make me stay awake long into the early morning hours rather than sleeping.
     In a recent post, I wrote am I a man of truth, a man of love, and I wrote I’m as much of those things as I’m able to know and comprehend them.  I could have asked another question, and a more important one.  Am I a man of faith?  As I sit here pondering this, I’m inclined to say yes.  I want to say yes; I need to say yes; I have to say yes.  Perhaps that doesn’t make sense to you, and if it doesn’t I’m not sure that I can explain it to you.  Maybe a better question would be am I man of great faith?  The best answer I can give you is sometimes I am; other times I’m not.  There are days when my faith is strong, so strong that nothing can deter, sway or move me, and then there are the days when I can’t seem to find a positive response to anything.
     Chronic pain can wear on you.  It’s a fact.  There are times when I’ve just wanted to lie down and die, when I’ve even thought about killing myself.  Sometimes I get so tired, so cranky, that I just want to hide from the world, and even my own family, and not let them see me.  I get discouraged, depressed, angry, all those emotions that I’m not supposed to have, that in the admitting of them I show my hypocrisy, and lack of faith.  It’s bad enough to live with physical pain, but add to that the guilt, and there are two kinds of that, the kind I lay on myself for not being strong, courageous, immovable, for not living and showing the kind of faith I think I should and want to have.  Then the guilt laid on me by others who sneer at me when I mention the word (faith), and throw scripture at me as if it’s a magic pill that will remove all doubt.
     Those of you who have been reading me awhile know that I’m a christian, and perhaps I’ve just given witness to those who think that all christians are hypocrites the right to say “See.  I told you.”  If I’ve given you that then I’m sorry.  I’m a christian.  Whether strong or weak I know that I am.  I know that God exists, that He loves me, that His son Jesus died for me, and that I am His.  I won’t deny that there are many hypocrites in, and out of, christianity, but for many, including me, the hypocrisy lies not in whom I believe in and put what faith I have, what trust I’m able to muster, in Him, but in thinking and, allowing others to think, that I’m able to do anything through my own efforts and strength. 
     Only God knows how much I want to have faith, how much I want to be all that He wants me to be, how sorry I am for failing Him and not upholding Him, and standing firm in my commitment to Him.  Only He can judge my faith, not me, not you, for only He can do so with perfect judgement, and He will judge my faith accurately, and I know He will because He gave it to me.

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2 thoughts on “A Thought on Faith, My Own

  1. Drusilla Mott

    Wayne, You have been so honest here, and I thank you for it. You could have been writing about me. Almost every statement you made caused me to see myself. From the chronic pain to the doubts to the guilt about wanting to be all that God wants me to be – even though I feel that I am failing Him. Praise God for His faithfulness and for His loving mercy!

    Reply

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