What Faith Is

It just takes some time,
Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything, everything will be just fine.
Everything, everything will be alright, alright.
“The Middle” -Jimmy Eat World

During a discussion a few days ago this question arose, “What is faith?” The answers varied but most included the themes of trust, belief, and God. It’s true, when the word “faith” is spoken, it’s most often in the context of spiritual behavior. But in it’s simplest form, the word means confidence or trust in a person or thing. You have faith in the chair you sit in at work. You have faith when someone calls you that your phone will ring. Those are examples rooted in proven results. You believe your phone will ring because that’s what it’s done in the past when someone called. That’s a learned faith. There’s a second kind, blind faith. I like to think of blind faith this way: trust without experimentation. Without any testing or experiences to rely on, you still choose to believe.

During the conversation, the word “unnatural” kept coming to my mind. People that accomplish big things do so by having faith in the work they put in, faith in the operating system, faith in their ability, faith in something. But to have faith in anything is counter-intuitive. It’s not natural because we, as humans, typically don’t trust first. We experiment first. We stick our toes in to weigh if the experience will hurt us or help us. We want the best for ourselves, and having faith in something else means giving up our own comfort, or more accurately, giving up the control over our own comfort. Faith is self-denying, or else it’s not faith. And to deny yourself is not natural.

As a child, you have faith your parents will feed you because why? They’ve fed you before. In religion, whether you’re raised to believe in God, that there is no God, or anywhere in between, it could be said that all belief systems have this in common: faith is trusting something you can’t prove. When a person is asked to prove God is real, they could very easily turn the question around and ask you to prove He’s not. I’m sure both sides of that argument could produce strong evidence on why God is or isn’t real and it takes faith to believe either side. I believe God created the earth, the universe, and everything in it. I can’t prove it. But it’s easier for me to believe that than to believe little tiny particles crashed together millions of years ago and now as a result mankind (products of that crash) created something as mysteriously wonderful and technically advanced as the Motorola Drrrroooooiiiiiid. Let’s face it, Droid phones are phenoms like we’ve never seen. iPhones don’t even have a physical keyboard or free built-in navigation. I’m just saying.

People claim the earth is millions of years old. I have no doubt that carbon dating and various tests are probably accurate. But could it be true that God created the earth to look like it was millions of years old? Afterall, He created Adam as an adult male. Any test you did on him would tell you he’s an adult who’d been alive for decades, yet it may have been only days since God created him.

Adam and Eve in the garden

Those with faith in what the Bible says believe that while they are sinners, they are saved from Hell. Martin Luther expressed this quite well in his phrase: Simul justus et peccator. At the same time just and sinner. The faith that they are forgiven and justified even though they are sinners. To turn around and live that as if you’re life depended on it, that’s faith. And that’s really what faith is all about. Putting action behind what you believe.

Afterall, what good is faith in anything if it doesn’t change everything you are about? An unnatural choice to trust first.

Have you ever stared into a starry sky?
Lying on your back you’re asking, “Why?”
“What’s the purpose?” I wonder, “Who am I?”
If you’ve ever stared into a starry sky.
“Have You Ever” -Brandi Carlile

Droid is the New Apple

It used to be that if you had an Apple product, you were in a select group on the outskirts of mainstream. With a firy passion, you bucked the idea of following the leader. You colored outside the lines. An Excel spreadsheet was for your dad and his friends. It’s no doubt that Apple’s introduced revolutionary products into the world, things like the iPod and the iPhone that are the benchmark of mobile connectivity. But just as Land Rover is produced for the masses and no longer for the fringes of offroad enthusiasts (don’t even get me started on that!), having an iPhone is like having a Facebook page. You have one, your teachers have one, your dad and his friends have one. No longer are you on the fringes. You are mainstream. And now you are not cool.

This is not a punch in the face, but yes Steve Jobs, you’ve just been Droided.

What In The K%!$#tchen Is Going On?

Here is my kitchen on a random weekday.

This image reveals 10 of my characteristics.

Let’s start with the obvious. You probably noticed the globe on the counter and the many bottles above the white cabinets.

Characteristic #1: Frugal and delights in the small victories of finding stuff like this at thrift stores, on beaches, or in the woods. Next is the attention-grabbing blue cup full of water. Characteristic #2: Personal health. Drinking water is a healthy thing to do (but what you can’t see is the pizza in the freezer, so this is an ongoing battle). Along the picture’s bottom edge you can see the corner of a dog crate. My beagle: I can’t control her, I can only hope to contain her…. in the crate. Ok, that’s not totally true. She’s a puppy and already knows how to “halt,” “sit,” and get in her cage on command. Bam! Characteristic #3: Leader of the pack. She’s the dog, I’m the master. And I’ll let you know when she believes that.

Now the not-so-obvious… to the left of the sink, below the cabinet, is the back end of a Maglite. This weapon is also used as a flashlight. Characteristic #4: Resourceful. Scanning down to the dishwasher you’ll see tape on the corners. I’ll take the tape off as soon as I stop buying stuff with tape on it. Characteristic #5: Procrastinator. Near the globe is a hardly-noticeable black phone cord and three, yes, three, power outlets. Characteristic #6: Powerful. With the power cord and multiple outlets, I can charge my Motorola Droid anytime and anywhere within those 4 feet. Near the stove, to the left of the wood figurines, is a small shark jaw. You’ve heard of having the “eye of the tiger”? What about having the “mouth of the shark”? Double bam! Sharp teeth are much more effective than a soft eyeball, I’m just saying. Characteristic #7: Sharp, not soft. Paper towels. The El Camino of the kitchen. Is it paper or a towel? Yes! Double threat and a triple bam! Characteristic #8: Double threat guy. Just left of the stove is a hot pad hanging from the cabinet knob. So obviously, characteristic #9: Hot. Lastly, the dishes in the sink. If you think this fits into the “procrastinator” characteristic (not washing dishes) or the “frugal” characteristic (not using dishwasher) you’d be wrong. Characteristic #10: Inclusive. See? Now my puppy can feel like part of the team.

 

“Clean the dishes! Gooooood giiiiiirl!”