The life of faith is a much more interesting proposition than living life constantly fearful or in a faithless way, swept up as a victim in situations of quandary. And by faith (for the uninitiated) I mean an approach to meeting life difficulties and triumphs that simply doesn’t respond much differently (than we normally would). It’s the same response no matter the stimuli.
When we receive that bad news phone call, for instance, our first reaction--our gut instinct--is to shout and scream, or at least protest and complain and seek a better outcome. With faith we reserve judgment, and we wait on God to help us…
I was reminded of this when recently sitting in McDonald’s sharing a meal and a drink with my daughter as we waited before her time came to do her driving exam. I got a call from a ‘private number’ and decided to answer (I don’t always answer these). It was the licensing centre saying they had to re-schedule due to the unavailability of the examiner.
(NB: It had been quite a re-shuffle in my schedule that allowed me to take the time to support my daughter in her test--on this occasion to no avail, seemingly. As I took the call I was thinking, ‘how am I going to re-jig my schedule?’)
My first (mental and emotional) response was to complain and negotiate a better outcome, but instead--and I love it when this happens--God’s Spirit got in on the act and helped me; I just listened and cooperated with the customer service officer on the end of the line. She had a job to do. My job was not to make her day more difficult.
Trusting in that moment, and choosing to smile through it, kept me upbeat for my daughter (who was feeling sickly nervous due to lack of sleep anyway) and Sandi on the other end of the line probably had ten of these calls to make.
We re-scheduled without any fuss and that was that.
What I recall most was my change of heart over the ensuing 30 minutes or so. It took some time before I could actually see the wisdom and benefit in the re-schedule, and there surely was--as there is to all dire circumstances; that silver lining to every hanging dark cloud.
Having the faith to just listen and not interject I feel is very important in life. It’s equally important to have this sort of faith as it is to express courage in acting in faith. Inaction can prove itself very wise; sometimes we just have to ‘get out of the way,’ with pride, ignorance, selfishness and lack of knowledge being only a few nemeses that can make us stumble and fall.
Faith is the only true and real way to really live. We see right here why it is impossible to truly please God without even the faintest vestibules of faith; mustard seed faith. It’s because our faith and God’s inevitable plan work in unison to achieve good in this life.
Faith is hence a necessary pre-requisite to true success in life. It works for us and those around us, not against.