About Me

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Faith in God - The Climb

Faith in God - Image by Micheal 1952 via Flicker
If you're Catholic, then you recognize this image as the Divine Mercy picture. The tag line of this image is "My Jesus, I trust in You."

If you pray the Divine Mercy chaplet every day at 3pm as prescribed, then on a daily basis you are reminded to place your trust in God. You remind yourself to have faith in God.

In December 2008, I left a very high paying job to venture out into my own business. I had planned for departure for more than a year and on the day I left my day job, I was full or excitement on the new direction. I was also fearless that there was no longer any guaranteed monthly salary, because God had never failed me in the past in any endeavor and I was very confident because I had faith in God.

The business that I went into was something that wasn't tested while I was still in my day job. I had an idea and I went with it. I took a leap of faith. Everytime I say this phrase, "leap of faith", I'm reminded of Indiana Jones taking a leap of faith in the movie, "The Lost Ark".

Fast forward 6 months and my world had crashed. One major investment crashed and because of the domino effect, all the other investments crashed too. When that major investment went belly up, I knew that I had made a huge mistake in leaving my day job and until today I still regret that move.

Just as my world crashed around me, Hannah Montana The Movie the silver screen. This movie will always b win my memory because it propped me up. It's not the movie itself by one of the songs in the soundtrack that I found very profound - The Climb.

Ironically, Miley Cyrus is 3 months younger than my eldest son, Jared, and I was being encouraged by someone old enough to be my daughter.

If you reflect on the lyrics, you'll realize that life is always a roller coaster ride. It's how one reacts to the downs in life that are probably more important than the highs. The song is of a secular nature, but for me I wouldn't have come out of the troughs without faith in God.

Interestingly, today I read an article about people who think critically have less faith in God.

new research suggests that whether we believe may also have to do with how much we rely on intuition versus analytical thinking. In 2011 Amitai Shenhav, David Rand and Joshua Greene of Harvard University published a paper showing that people who have a tendency to rely on their intuition are more likely to believe in God.  They also showed that encouraging people to think intuitively increased people’s belief in God. Building on these findings, in a recent paper published in Science, Will Gervais and Ara Norenzayan of the University of British Columbia found that encouraging people to think analytically reduced their tendency to believe in God. Together these findings suggest that belief may at least partly stem from our thinking styles.

I find this a bit of a stretch for my brain. This means that those who have faith in God are subjective and those who don't are objective. Isn's that over simplifying matters? Is the Pope who is a Professor incapable of critical thinking because he has faith in God?

Mark 11:22 is the verse that calls us to "Have faith in God." However, if you read Scriptures, both Old and New Testament, you'll find that many people who are considered the intelligentsia always had difficulty accepting God's prophesies via His prophets.

Could there be some truth to the Scientific American article after all? Thinking too much makes us question if God can do something because God is outside of the physical realm and can measure him with any scientific instrument. The only tool that can detect Him, is our soul (our intuition?).

What exactly is faith in God?

Faith is what brings the things God has provided for us from the spiritual realm into the physical realm (Heb. 11:1). Our faith is the victory that enables us to overcome the world (1 John 5:4). Everything the Lord does for us is accessed through faith.

Ok, thanks for clearing that up. So, how do you have faith in God then? Is there a procedure to follow?

Is it possible to release all our fears and failures into God’s hands? Each time those questions are asked, the answer is always, “Yes.” There are times in our lives when the road ahead seems uncertain; when the answers we desperately seek are elusive. As long as we depend on our own understanding and reasoning, our faith will waiver.
Hang on, that last sentence, seems to corroborate the Scientific American article! Depending on our own understanding and reasoning seems to be critical thinking. Emm...

Is having faith in God some passive thing?

Knowing that God is our loving Heavenly Father makes it easier to release control of our lives to Him.
There will be times when our faith in God requires us to believe in the impossible.
Looks like having faith in God is a tough decision and takes a lot of guts.
What was my experience? I follow the advise of St. Augustine...

Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.
A lot of Christians think that faith means abdicating your responsibility. Although Jesus said not to worry about tomorrow and that the Father even feeds the birds, the birds still had to fly to find food - they never ate out of His hand!