Keeping the Faith (is really hard)
I have learned much about living by faith in recent years. Not how easy it is, but how utterly difficult.
Faith is believing, even and may I say especially, when that for which we hope seems nowhere in sight. Were I to be honest, much of my faith over the course of my life has been in my ability to lead, to make good decisions and to hold steady in trying times. I have tried to do the right things the right way and for the most part, have received the right things in the right time.
It has only been in recent years that I have encountered things beyond my control; people and relationships dear to me that I am simply unable to will, control or fix. Things like war, hate, brokenness, want, doubt, suspicion, despair, misunderstanding, pain, disease and fracture wound me in ways they never did before. This has left me in a new, horrifying and utterly wonderful place. I am learning to fully trust in God. Not in me being Godly or even hearing God but in God Himself. It is amazing how this new faith scarcely has room for me at all!
These days I pray for daily bread and have learned to eat it with thanksgiving. These days I cherish each beautiful moment I have and appreciate all with which I have been blessed in a new way. These days prayer is less poetic, more passionate; less structured and more improvisational and as necessary as the air I breathe. I have never more wanted my life to truly matter.
This life of faith takes us far beyond our human best and connects us to the source; a childlike belief and unwavering confidence in a creating God. It is in that simple confidence that I continue to grow, learn, trust and even to dance. Tentatively and with two left feet but I am learning to dance!
Peace dear friends. You are loved. Keep the faith.
-Rev. Shane L. Bishop is the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois