Finding Faith

August 25, 2010

Faith. Either you have it or you don’t. Nowhere is this more apparent then the Book of Job, a well-written recollection of a virtuous man who sticks with God after God destroys his family, but turns his back on God after God confiscates his wealth and poisons his health.

Before Job returns to God, he asks the million-dollar question that is the great divide (or at least one of them) between believers and non-believers: Why does God allow the innocent to suffer and the evil prosper?

I realize this question is over simplified and that the idea of unpunished evil and tormented good is a loophole, not a law, but I’ve never found a single person or text capable of giving me a satisfactory answer. Why? Because those providing the answers have faith in God and I don’t.

I have faith in destiny, karma, goodness and people (with the exception of phone-based customer service representatives), but can’t attach it to a mass, a structure, a group, a book, a being or a gathering. It’s just there. I have faith in myself. I don’t know why. I don’t know where it came from, I just wish more people had the confidence to use themselves as a faith agent. I’m not opposed to religion or God, I just can’t understand why some people who listen to God, will not, or cannot hear themselves.

In a rather dark moment, Job says:

“Human life is like forced army service, like a life of hard manual labor, like a slave longing for cool shade; like a worker waiting for his pay.”

A less dramatic version of this echoes the opinions of many of my friends, colleagues and associates. They’re sort of satisfied with their jobs. They’re sort of satisfied with their personal lives. They wish they had time to do things they enjoy. They wish they had a better work/life balance. They really want to do x for a living. They really want to give y a try. But they lack faith in themselves so instead of changing course, they hide behind mortgages, school districts, 401ks and life.

Since we spend most of our waking hours working, let’s use work as an example. According to Andrew Hewitt and Luc d’Abadie, authors of “The Power of Focus for College Students,” only 5 to 10 percent of people “follow their dreams.” According to a Conference Board research group study, only 45 percent of Americans are satisfied with their jobs. Satisfied! Not happy. Not content. Satisfied.

Office Space Trailer

These individuals lack micro while I lack macro. However, the concepts overlap. I understand and agree with much of the Book of Job, but rather than relying on God, I use God as a placeholder for personal faith.

Elihu, the smart lad responsible for pulling Job away from his pity party, says:

“Although God speaks again and again, no one pays attention to what he says.”

If they don’t listen, God speaks to them in dreams and visions. If they still don’t listen to his nudging, they get sick. I don’t see God as the agent for this series of events, but I don’t dispute that it happens. Many people don’t listen to themselves. Then they ignore their dreams and then they acquire a sickness, a different kind of sickness, the “I’m 65. I have a nice 401k, but wouldn’t it have been cool if I ran with that idea I had 20 years ago? Oopsie. Guess I’ll just drive around an RV and enjoy my retirement” sickness. This sickness,* in my opinion, is squander and it’s caused by lack of faith. Personal faith.

I understand faith, but my question is, why do people tie it faith to “God?” I don’t think I’ll ever know the answer because it’s a matter of faith. That’s it.

Stopping Point: Psalms

* It’s only a sickness if it results from losing faith in self. For some people, RV life is a dream come true, which is cool.

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9 Responses to “Finding Faith”

  1. Ellenita said

    I really do enjoy your posts. You cut to the chase. Keep it up – and keep on with your searching for what you want for your life! Love, Ellenita

  2. […] Thumpme's Blog Just another WordPress.com site Skip to content HomeAbout ← Finding Faith […]

    • James said

      Good post and interesting thoughts T. What’s most nteresting about faith is that everyone has it. Whether we realize it or not we all put our faith in something. Why do you think we are predisposed to have faith? Where does it come from?

      • thumpme said

        That is a great question. I guess if we didn’t have it, we wouldn’t be able to do anything. Without some sort of faith, it would be impossible to get out of bed. We’d lack purpose. When I started this project I thought I was an atheist. I’ve quickly realized that I do have faith. It’s just undefined.

  3. […] all the wind I blow about being a non-believer, I sure do find myself wearing articles of faith. Sometimes I do this insincere promise making I suppose the liberal minded might consider prayer. […]

  4. […] thought about Job all weekend. There is, I’ll admit, a bit of an attraction there. He’s sort of like the diseased, depressed, […]

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