Faith,Gotta Have it!
FAITH n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
~~~Ambrose Bierce, 1911~~~~
Although the quote is a cynical look at what faith truly is, it is to a degree true. A better word, more understandable than the word faith, is the word trust. We can all understand what trust is. One description I heard was, a reliance on someone, of whom you know nothing. Again, to a degree this is accurate. But, faith or trust is more than that. When you hear the word faith, remember it is best understood as a level of trust.
We have faith in a variety of things. Least of which today is God. Mankind today thinks itself “enlightened”, filled with wisdom and knowledge. The ancients knew how to get things done just as well as we do today. Our perplexity over how the pyramids were built would match those builders own perplexity as to how we built our modern structures.
Modern man is no smarter or wiser than the ancients. We still have hunger, poverty, disease, injustice just as they did. Though today we lack one thing they had a great deal of, “faith”. To be honest, we do have faith today but we have placed it in ourselves and our “stuff”. Whereas the ancients placed it in a divinity, knowing there was more here than the human eye beheld. They arguably knew far more than we do today. Oh yeah we may have our modern, fancy "hi-tech" technology but they had a deeper relation and acknowledgment of the unseen. They had faith in that which they were unable to see, grasping the spirit world with both hands. Modern “enlightened” man, in his strives to understand the ancients dismisses this characteristic of the peoples of the past. So many do not realize all the ancient cultures were built around their belief and faith in the unseen world. All have faith their leaders are in charge and doing what is “right”. Though the ancients looked at it as doing right in the sight of the “gods”. Today it is whether it is “right” in the opinion of the “consensus” of the people. Frankly I trust the former and not so much the human consensus. People’s opinions are too easily swayed by personal desires.
Consider what “modern enlightened man” has his faith in. We have “faith” the plane we’re flying in will go into the air; and then faith it will stay there.
We have faith our elected leaders are doing what they promised yet knowing full well the whole time they are lying through their teeth. At the same time, they have faith you will vote for them anyway. So who's kidding who with that one?!
People have faith their money is worth more than the piece of paper it is printed on. But is it really worth more than the number “fifty” printed on it? Is not the true worth of money, the one with the number one on it? As it is only worth what it is, one piece of paper?
The fifty is a demonstration we believe it is in some way worth fifty of those other pieces of paper with the number one printed on them. It is an absurd illusion that a picture of Ulysses S Grant is in some way worth fifty pictures of George Washington Is this really rational? People will have Ulysses S. Grant is in some way worth fifty pictures of George Washington.
And even more, a picture of Benjamin Franklin is worth two of the Grants or one-hundred of the Washingtons. All are printed on the same amount of paper with the same amount of ink. Is this really rational?
People will have full faith and confidence in this abstraction of reality, that of a piece of paper with a number on it is in some way worth that number of other pieces of paper. But these same people will somehow disbelieve in God as being “unrealistic” or an “abstraction” unworthy of belief. People believe the paper money they use represents an unseen value but then will refuse to believe in the value of an unseen God having more representation and backing than the piece of paper we call “money”.
Where your treasure is, there your heart will be. We have unspoken faith we will wake up each morning, yet not once thanking the one who allows for that daily “dollar” of our existence. So we put our faith in paper, as if having some kind of value. We put our faith in pieces of metal for the sole reason there is not much of that particular metal
(at least not in our hands at that moment). Aluminum was once as valuable as Silver. Then one day someone discovered a way to extract it from the ore it is found in. Instead of being a fine metal it became used for pots and pans, cheap cans and everything else to the point of being completely disposable. It became comparatively worthless, being only slightly more valuable than iron; much less than nickel, silver, gold or platinum. All it takes is a slight change in the technology and what we esteem of high value becomes virtually worthless. Thus those who put their faith in such things learned the hard way what Jesus said “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
We, “mankind” has put faith in the clothing we wear, that in some way if we wear something in particular our own personality will be improved. People think their stature or abilities become increased; or that others will accept and respect them all the more, holding them in a higher esteem simply because they wear something another approves of. Usually due to a fancy name or a high price tag.
This empty faith in vanity is corrosive and pervasive. People live in bigger and bigger, fancier and more glorious houses; having faith it will survive a storm, an earthquake, a fire or flood. Then when the tragedy strikes bemoan the loss as if they had lost all; when if all were lost they would not even be standing there bemoaning it.
We put faith in ourselves, that we “own” our bodies and our lives. Ownership implies total control over it. To all who claim their body or their life is theirs, add an extra hand, re-grow a limb, reconstruct a bad heart, liver, lung or other organ on your own. When death knocks, say no and live past the moment of death on your own volition and capabilities. Grow wings and fly if your body is yours and have such ownership control. Give yourself perfect vision. Yes we can say “I’ll go to the doctors who can do such things” but you are then placing your faith in those doctors. Instead of owning your body and life, what has been lent to you is being handed over to another for temporary or even sometimes permanent ownership. The one who owns your body is the one with the ability to take it from you at any given time.
The Messiah said “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, oh you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying “what shall we eat? Of what shall we drink? Or what shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”