- belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof
- a system of religious belief, or the group of people who adhere to it
- a strongly held set of beliefs or principles
- allegiance or loyalty to somebody or something
A one time I had faith that I would/could move mountains. I knew what I believed, not necessarily why I believed it, but I believed. I believed in God, his Son, and something called the Holy Spirit. With God all things were possible. I believed. I didn’t question, at least not out loud. I had no real reason not to believe. Everyone around me believed, at least that’s what I thought. We all attended the same church so wasn’t that enough? I believed because I didn’t know anything else. Everyone that was in authority over me; my parents, pastor, church, school, husband, everyone that I was surrounded by “believed” the same thing.
The rules were pretty simple –
- Believe that God is the one and only – divided into three – Father, Son and Holy Ghost. God loved us so much he wanted to provide a way for us to get out of our sinful nature so he sent his son to become the sacrifice for our sins. Jesus died on the cross as that sacrifice.
- Ask Gods’ forgiveness, believe and accept that Jesus died for that forgiveness and you are on your way to heaven.
- No drinking
- No movies
- No dancing
- And depending on the household – no cards, no TV, no rock music.
- And by the way, we are the only ones that have it right… some may be close but not quite.
I should clarify here. I believed #1 and #2. The rest of the rules I had my doubts, but because of all the authority that ruled my life I grudgingly followed; not always happily, but those were the rules.
As years went by and I started to finally start thinking for myself (yes, I finally broke from under the spell) I really began paying attention to what was going on around me, things that were always there but I never took the time to integrate into my thoughts. Hypocrisy was the biggest elephant in the room. I grew up with it – “Do as I say not as I do”, prayer only at dinner; scream, shout and fight the rest of the time. We still followed the rules, but as far as everyday life and knowing or learning who God was didn’t happen. I found that more and more of those people I thought believed the same things and went by the same ‘rules’ weren’t following those ‘rules’. They went to movies, they danced, they even had a drink or two and they listened to other than ‘Christian music’ Hummmm…
Now, I’m not sitting back and saying that I blame my ‘Not knowing,’ my ‘Not understanding,’ or my ‘Not anything’ on everyone else; I believe I was on my own search – quietly inside – noticing and filing away, very slowly putting pieces in a box that one day I would eventually finally start putting together.
Jump ahead – light years and I went through a ‘ring of fire’ that shook me to the very core of that belief system. A system that said “If I had enough faith God would make things right – he would fix everything and all would be well.” I came to a place where I didn’t have enough faith to stay in the situation I was in and that by doing so God would make everything alright. I failed my faith. I didn’t believe. I put God on the shelf because I couldn’t face that failure. I still believed in God; a being that holds life in his hands; something that is beyond our understanding our comprehension; a holder of the universe; an energy that is all being — GOD. But beyond that, I was leaving it all on the shelf. I had too much fear and forgiveness to uncover before I could start building any belief system or faith again.