Keeping the Faith

My maternal grandmother used to say you either had faith or you didn’t, no two ways about it. For a long time, I thought that didn’t take into account the complexities of this world and the vast amounts of gray there are sometimes. But I’ve come to the conclusion that she was right.

For me, if I don’t believe in something then I don’t see a reason to do something. Because to me, faith is about caring, caring about yourself and the world around you, and a belief that if you don’t give up on yourself or the world around you, then things will work out in some way.

I don’t believe in a faith that’s all about pleasing some mystical all-knowing all-seeing force commonly referred to as God. I don’t see God as an old white bearded guy hurling shit down on top of humans for every little fuck-up or bad thought. That’s just the work of some dumb-ass human trying to keep other humans in line and keep them from questioning or challenging things that need to be challenged. I see God as a force beyond our limited understanding but that our own decisions and actions are what drives life here on Earth. I believe in free will, and the ability to make decisions and solve problems. And I believe in the good of this world despite all the awful shit in it. To me, those last two things are what define my faith: the ability to make decisions, and a belief that good will always triumph over bad.

It’s something that I need to remind myself some days more than others because fear and anxiety can grip me as hard as it wants to, and only my faith can loosen that grip. Sometimes this means taking things one day at a time, just get through this day and worry about the next one when it comes.

Another thing about faith is that it acknowledges the great mysteries in life itself, the past, present, and future, and what is beyond this world. Because not all questions have answers, and I wonder if some questions are never meant to have answers. Faith in regards to the great mysteries is saying to keep living even if you don’t have all the answers and know that you won’t ever find all of those answers either.

So whenever I think I’m a fuck-up for making things up as I go along and just dealing with crap as it comes, I tell myself that’s alright. I tell myself it’s alright because no one, not me or anyone else, knows what’s going to happen next. I think the only thing I can say for certain will happen next is that the sun will come up tomorrow because scientists say that our sun has about four-billion years of life left in it before it turns into a giant star and incinerates the Earth. And if they’re wrong… well, we haven’t found a way to get off this rock and colonize another world yet so why worry about that, too?