Life is a Faith Journey – part 3, What do You Believe?

No event in this life has quite the same impact as coming face to face with a life-threatening experience.  This is especially true of any threat to your own life or the life of a very close loved one or partner.  Every plan you might have made, every dream you may have shared, everything you might have thought your life is about, is suddenly and abruptly shaken-up and then paused.  Everything – you whole life – suddenly comes up for serious re-evaluation and review.


Often such events happen when you are totally unprepared – you get hit squarely between the eyes by the stark reality of chilling news born in the present moment.  It may be that your journey together is nearly over – time to wrap things up.  Everything that was so unavoidably important (just yesterday) is suddenly very easy to set aside or even discard altogether.  Grasping at straws, trying desperately to find another reality are all strategies used to try to avoid the cruel reality in which we find ourselves.  The clock becomes relentless as it ticks off all remaining time.


Such a reality became unavoidably personal when on January 5, 2012 my wife of nearly forty years lost a brief – and definitely unplanned for – battle with cancer.  What began as a couple of teenagers taking a truckload of dreams, hopes and beliefs on a trip together, down a long and winding road, was to end.  During that journey much changed as we grew into adults and then went on into middle age.  Along the way, a number of dreams, goals and plans were realized while others were modified or simply abandoned in favour of new ideas.  In many ways we were investing in a future that was not to be – though we didn’t realize it at the time.


OK, so now you gain some real insight into phrases we’ve all heard (perhaps even repeated) and what is actually being soulfully stated … “till death,” or “as long as you both shall live” or “the rest of my life.”  Intellectually we all know these things but usually we are able to avoid or ignore them so they don’t interfere too much in our daily life and all its important minutia.  Perhaps we wisely make plans for 5, 10 or even 40 years down the road…and maybe we even (superstitiously?) throw in the phrase, “god willing.”  Ultimately, at some level, we know the clock eventually has to run out.


Once you are forced to give up the belief that “there is still plenty of time for ______,” it becomes hard to ignore the need and opportunity to take a look at just what it is that you believe.  For the record, I am a Christian and contained within that statement are a large number of values and beliefs as they relate to God and my relationship with Him.  Despite my history (raised in a Christian household) I would say that I’ve not always been a Christian and my life journey has taken some pretty crazy twists and turns.  If I could have asked for “do-overs,” there would have been plenty of times I might have done so. 


If you believe in God or if you don’t, it is not within my ability to convince you otherwise – I would simply ask that you honestly examine your path, even as you follow it.  Know this…the present moment is all too brief and it is important to consider what lies ahead of you. 


I think it’s unavoidable; your faith determines your future.  At some point we all ponder the path we are on and just where we are headed.  Aside from the harsh and unavoidable reality checks, many events in our everyday lives also constantly challenge us to examine what we believe.  Is there a purpose to this very brief period of time we’ve all been granted or is it simply a short period of awareness nestled between two indefinite periods of oblivion?  Is how you spend your time here important?  What do you believe?

Comments are closed.