2015 Meditation #2
A series of meditations in 2015, by the Rector, Staff, Parishioners, and Friends of the Parish.
What would having more faith look like?
It’s a natural thing for us to want more faith. It’s difficult to imagine not wanting it. Whose platform in life is to be against having more faith??
What we don’t often do is imagine what our life would look like if we had more of it. Jesus doesn’t directly describe what that life would look like. He points to a number of virtues during his ministry that would be desirable for His followers to have, but when the disciples in Luke 17:5 ask Him to increase their faith, He says that if they had the tiniest amount of it they could uproot a mulberry tree just by talking to it. Is that really the goal of more faith? Is there a silent epidemic of poorly engineered mulberry tree plantings that Christians are supposed to fix by faith?
I don’t think so.
More faith would likely result in living differently than we currently do. That difference would vary from person to person, but deepening our trust in God for all we need would likely result in our paying more attention to certain things than we currently do and paying less attention to others. A life focused on having more faith would likely lead us to dwell less on short term, earthly results and focus more on what kind of person we are becoming in God. We would be less likely to give God advice and more likely to feel led by the Power Behind All Things. We would look for God’s guidance first instead of hoping God approves of the decisions we have already made.
More faith would certainly result in less need to be in control and more peace. Jesus is clear that the peace He gives the world cannot give. Too often I can locate my primary energy in the assumption that my next earthly decision will bring me serenity. True serenity for me is knowing that I am following the will of God as I understand it while remaining open to the possibility that I may need to change course as new understandings of God emerge.
Having more faith might make us appear to be taking more risks. If, however, we take additional risks by trying to trust God more, we do so knowing God will always honor that attempt in some profound way, possibly in a way we hadn’t imagined.
Perfect love casts out fear. Putting our trust more fully in the perfect love of God would make us less fearful but also less clear about forecasting immediate results. But if the result of deeper trust is becoming closer to the perfect love of God, what are we really afraid of?
Questions for the week:
What are my deepest fears? Do I ask for God’s help with them? Do I trust that God cares about my fears? What might my life look like if I trusted God more?