Faith in Something other than Myself
Madeline L’Engle Camp, the author of many books, including, A Wrinkle in Time, phrased the following: “Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.” I understand this to mean that genuine faith, faith in God, implies a profound trust in God, the willingness to give myself to God, and be in a constant relationship with God.
Over the course of my life, very difficult for me. I was never a real athlete, but I was an ardent competitor. When I was a Marine, I was not the best, but I was honest with myself, true to the Corps, and very Gung-Ho. This was true until a certain fact (in French, the word is fait) came forth; the injuries I received in a training accident prevented me from continuing in the Corps and serving with my brother Marines in combat.
After this, I was in retail for twenty-five years. Not a great businessman, but honest to my patrons, my employees, and my retail photo profession. Once more, a fact (notice that the French word, fait, is the basis of our word, faith), or two, stepped in to crush this dream. After a near-fatal auto accident, I could no longer do my job. However, I did then return to college to become a teacher, which is the way I finished my working career.
The fact is, my faith was only in myself! I accepted God, but I really did not put my faith in God. I can only invite God into my conscious presence, realizing that without this determined invite, He is still with me, always. I cannot not even try to invite him in my life with any preconceptions or conditions; nor, can I do the same when praying for others and ask God’s intervention into their lives. My invitation must be pure and simple, showing that this petition to reality is a mournful cry from a doubting child.
It seems that I am always asking, “God, are you there?” knowing that in fact He is. Even in my deepest doubt, I know that God is always with me, prepared to catch me when I fall. As I look back on my life, I see that there has always been this comfort in my live, even when I failed to recognize it as such. With every setback that I have experienced, my wife and family have stood by me, supported me, nursed me back to health. This is the family that God blessed me with.