Saturday, September 20, 2008

Building faith takes work

I got an email on Wednesday asking me how the economic downturn was affecting me, and talking about the AIG bank failure. I flipped on the news to hear Donald Trump talking doom and gloom, while other economists talked about what this all means. And I witnessed for the umpteenth time the human tendancy to make what is happening today mean something all too certain about the future. We've all done it. If we things are going well, we feel more certain about our future. If we feel bad we project that out in front of us as well. If we are unsure how to pay a bill today we can easily slip into fear of not having enough in the future, and if we have a buffer we may develop a false sense of security. I turned the news off. Gloom and doom is not the reality I choose to tune into.

The truth is, life can change on a dime. Look at the thousands of people affected by Hurricane Ike. One day your life is normal and the next the floodwaters claim your home. Or conversely, one day you are swept into the ocean when your house collapses, tossed about by 25 foot waves and whipped by 100mph winds, convinced you are going to die, and the next day you sit in the sunshine at a picnic bench expressing gratitude that you are alive. The things we call our security don't really provide security. The leaders, banks, walls of our homes, etc. don't provide true security. God provides security and that's the only security you can truly count on. We do our best to be prudent and wise in the ways of the world, and we should, but until we put our faith and trust in God we never really truly have the security we are seeking.

Being self employed, my income is never guaranteed. Even though I have enough clients to book a full schedule, there are people who don't show up and don't call to let me know, people who can't afford a session and need discounts, and unforseen circumstances such as home repairs that necessitate flexibility and faith. And yet I have worked hard over the years to develop faith and now I know beyond doubt that God will take care of everything I need in a timing that is often better than my own.

You can't develop faith by simply saying, "I have faith." Building faith is like building musle. It is an inner workout that definitely makes outer circumstances run more smoothly. Faith comes by choosing one thought at time. We either indulge fear or profess faith, but we can't do both at the same time. Faith comes when you face your fears and see them for the lies that they are, affirming God's truth. Faith come when you decide you've had enough worry.

So rather than puttting your well being in the hands of economies or political leaders, or circumstances around you, remember, if you rest your faith in God, then nothing external in the world is more powerful.