I used to think I didn’t have any faith.
I grew up in the bible belt Midwest where faith meant something specific. It was tied to religion…Christianity to be exact. There are a lot of mega-churches where I come from, too.
Faith in that realm didn’t look very appealing to me and I didn’t have too many other examples of faith, so I decided that I must not be a very faithful person.
Through a series of events, I learned to trust in uncertain times. I started calling that faith. It helped tremendously that goodness rose up to meet me time and again.
Some folks make comments about just how much faith and trust I have. I’m willing to wait for that goodness to come along rather than settle into something that I can feel isn’t a right fit. But what I’ve realized lately that is the energy behind this faith (or trust if you’d like to call it that) has been with me all along. As I started to look around, I can’t help but think it’s with you, too. With everyone. Folks who think they aren’t faithful or trusting really are. I always have been. It’s just a matter of what I put my faith and trust in.
I used to have faith in graduate school, in education, in myself, my goals, and my plan. Lots of folks have faith in jobs, the market, capitalism, in retirement, in the political system. Even when we realize that these things are flawed, we have enough faith in them to structure our lives around them. Whatever you believe, whatever you do on the daily, you’ve got some faith in that. It might not be explicit and it might not be strong, but your participation in anything is done with a certain degree of trust and faith.
What I had once perceived as creation of faith where before there was none, I now perceive as a transfer of faith. Instead of having faith in security and certainty, in a 20-year plan, a PhD and a known career path, I have faith in the unfolding of events. I have faith that the goodness will continue to rise up to meet me. This takes various forms. It could be a conversation with a person who turns me on to a new book or perspective (Thanks, Lisa!). It could be an experience that I enter in with doubt and leave with transformation (Vipassana was). It could be a job or living space or even the perfect cardigan (yes, I pray for clothes sometimes).
If you find yourself wanting to loosen up your grip on the (perceived) known and embrace the mysterious, miraculous, and spontaneous, you might think about examining where you put your faith and trust currently, and where you might like to transfer some of that.