I have always loved this definition of ‘faith’ – “The belief in things hoped for but not seen.”
How many things there are that fall into that category! What hopes have you? What are you doing to make that faith in things hoped for come to pass?
When you talk about ‘faith,’ you can get yourself in tricky waters. People get all bent out of shape when religion gets involved. How much death and misery has been wrought in the name of one’s God? (For the record, I am a religious person, a Christian – but my faith is quiet and personal and I hope that the way I live my life is the best advertisement for my religious convictions.
There is a quiet confidence that comes from that inner knowing that there is a purpose, that life isn’t just this random sequence of events and then it’s over. That part of my faith is rooted in finding little small joys every day: the extra hug from my daughter as she leaves for school. The inspiration taken from a beautiful photograph. Knowing something you said for a colleague at work made a difference. Those little daily joys add up to a conviction that this journey called life is taking me somewhere I want to be – and though the road that will take me there sometimes (okay, often!) has moments of sadness and even heartbreak, even the bad parts of the journey can be life-affirming – and the destination is someplace I want to be!
Talking to God
Many years ago, there was a show on television hosted by Art Linkletter. It was called “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” What a great show title. I never knew just how terrific the show’s name was until I had my own children.
My son was small, maybe about six years old. I was kneeling beside his bed, having tucked him in. We said our good night prayers and plowed through the long list of “God bless…” that always seemed designed to delay lights out. Finally we got to “A-men.”
My son exclaimed, “That’s IT!”
“That’s what?” I asked.
“That’s it,” he repeated. “That’s how our prayers get to God!” The excitement in his voice was delicious. Somehow Nick has made some amazing discovery and he was about to share it with me.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well,” he replied breathlessly. “I’ve finally figured out how our prayers get to God! You know how when you send an email, you click on the envelope-thingy?”
“Yes, “ I said with hesitation, not really seeing where this line of thinking was going to go.
“Well, that’s how our prayers get to Heaven. When we have our eyes closed and our hands folded, THAT’S what sends our prayers to God!” And with that, he happily snuggled down under the covers and closed his eyes, his smile still playing across his face.
So now YOU know – just what it takes to get your prayers to God. Who knew?!
We’ve all seen those signs, “Give me patience, and give it NOW.” It is, I must confess, not one of my virtues – and living in New York City, I get the sense that I am not alone in that regard! There’s a verse from Proverbs that speaks to patience: “With patience you can convince a ruler. And a gentle word can get through to the hard headed.” Proverbs 25:15
I have never had occasion to prove the former, but the latter part of the verse is quite true. I’ve seen it with kids, I have seen it at work. And – I have seen through the research I have done on my last couple of books, that indeed psychology bears this out. Humans are much more motivated by respect, gratitude, and consideration than measure of threats and raised voices. Give it a shot. The next time you need something done by someone, try the patience route: explain what you need, why you need it and why the individual’s help is critical. We all want to feel important – turns out it’s also important to getting things done.
He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. – Psalms 91:11.