In our podcast Wednesday, we talked a lot about faith. I felt like I was struggling through the discussion the whole time. It was one of those times when I’ve had experiences that justified my faith but I haven’t ever formalized it into language. So, I told stories and fumbled through conclusions. Luckily, AJ has become fluent in my ramblings and is able to translate for all of you to make it more useful. One of the biggest things I took away from our conversation though, was how faith is a, what seems to be, a fairly consistent cycle belief, action, trust.
I really liked how AJ said that faith starts with an offer. The offer to go farther up and further in is being made constantly. This is true of not only God, but everything in life. Before we do anything, when we reach a fork in the road, we have to chose to believe…something. We choose to believe college will help us get jobs, that certain people will be a great partners, that job will make us happy, etc. We don’t actually know if it will work out that way, but we are presented with an offer and we choose to believe it is good or to believe it is not good.
Once we have responded to the offer, we take action. This doesn’t mean we pick up our family and move across country. I think there is (at least in my brain) a huge discrepancy in what action means. It is just doing something, anything. It doesn’t have to be crazy. If we decide that college is what is right for us, we accept that offer, we then must GO to college and DO college things.
The action step is also the growth period. This is when we are stretched. We fail and succeed and then fail again. We keep trying, and failing, and trying other things. The key here is that we keep going. Action must be in motion. This does not mean to persist in wrong action just because you committed to it. Remember, the offer to make a change is omnipresent forever. BUT, if we know the decision was good, the action is good, but it still sucks, then we have to trust that what comes out on the other side will also be good.
When we do come out on the other side (even though it is more like a million micro transitions, rather than one big one then another big one), we can look back and reflect and see that God was always with us, or our loved one was faithful, or college did pay off. Reflecting back is like eating protein to rebuild the muscles you just worked out by taking action. It is the essential nutrients to building your faith. We must take the time to reflect. Once we look forward again, we will see that we are presented with another offer in which we must choose a belief, take action, and then trust the process.
When we master this process, we can teach it to our kids. This process is a truth of life and it takes practice. If our youth can watch us work through it, then they will gain the confidence to go further up and further in. Their faith will be greater than ours and that is the goal: to make the next generation better than ours.