Keeping the faith – if you can find it …by alan marshall

In a world obsessed with what we can see, taste, feel, touch and explain is there a place for faith, or has that old fashioned value from that old-time religion lost all relevance?

I have to admit it is easy for any semblance of faith to become lost amongst the clamour for a secular reality and a rapidly hardening attitude towards anything ‘Godly’ in our society.

At the heart of faith is a belief that there is something greater than what we can see or experience through our physical senses; something deeper than the futility of life and all our worldly pursuits.

Is it possible for faith to co-exist with our daily toil and life experiences or should it be relegated to the wooden pews of a stone church and a select few of mostly older straight-laced or desperate individuals?

It’s not difficult to find reasons to reject faith:

  • It is easy to look at the state of this world, the cruelty and violence especially the suffering of children and claim there is no God ‘if there is a God how could he allow this to happen?’
  • We can hide behind the hypocrisy of the church or Christians we may know. In a good natured discussion with a work mate he said to me “You’d never get me to church, it’s full of hypocrites!” ‘Well there’s always room for one more’ I replied.
  • And there are more than enough reports in the media of extremist religious views to fuel any personal stance on why-not-to-believe.

But in the end faith is not determined by the events and circumstances of life, and it cannot be defined by the experiences of others. It is personal and it comes from within each one of us. It’s like a seed lying dormant in the ground; with water and warmth it comes to life. It is a choice that each of us make to nurture that seed.

Like that seed, faith has the DNA of life within it waiting to be activated. A simple act of faith, of asking, of putting our trust in God can activate that faith.

Faith in God doesn’t make someone perfect or better than anyone else, or even religious. And it certainly won’t make you immune to the troubles and tragedies of this world. But there is an incredible peace and hope that accompanies faith.

Is there a place for faith in our world? I would say a world without faith is a lost world indeed.

Perhaps my favourite quote is from Mother Teresa who reminds us to do what is right even though it is not always popular, and in the end, well read on………………….

“People are often unreasonable and self-centred. Forgive them anyway.                                                              “If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.                                                                         “If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.                                                                                        “If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.                                                                           “The good you today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.                                                                             “Give the world your best and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.                                                              “For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.                                                                                                       “It was never between you and them anyway”

——- Mother Teresa

About Alan Marshall

Currently a sales manager in a technology company Alan works and lives in the Hawkes Bay New Zealand with his wife Wendy. As a church Pastor for many years Alan has navigated the relevance and place of faith in an ever changing world. The death of their eldest son in an unprovoked assault in 2011, has tested their beliefs at the deepest level and it is from his life experiences that Alan writes and speaks.