Monday, April 11, 2016
What do you put your faith in?
James Fowler writes in his book, Stages of Faith, “...we are concerned with how to put our lives together and with what will make life worth living. Moreover, we look for something to love that loves us, something to value that gives us value, something to honor and respect that has the power to sustain our being.” P.5
This faith that Fowler writes of is the basis for our identity in our ego world. Being a Buffalo Bills fan in Western New York can be a form of faith manifested in clothing, flags, tailgate rituals on game day etc. People get caught up in all kinds of ego dramas that seems to give their lives meaning, importance, camaraderie, and seems to sustain their being in the ego world. And yet, these identifications, pursuits, and preoccupations keep us from the awareness of Love’s presence in our lives.
It is written in Lesson 50 in the workbook of ACIM:
I am sustained by the Love of God.
Here is the answer to every problem that will confront you, today and tomorrow and throughout time. In this world, you believe you are sustained by everything but God. Your faith is placed in the most trivial and insane symbols; pills, money, "protective" clothing, influence, prestige, being liked, knowing the "right" people, and an endless list of forms of nothingness that you endow with magical powers.
All these things are your replacements for the Love of God. All these things are cherished to ensure a body identification. They are songs of praise to the ego. Do not put your faith in the worthless. It will not sustain you.
As we consider these ideas it becomes apparent that we have become mislead by the ego into counterfeit sources of salvation. We have come to think that the ways of the world will save us, until they don’t, and we are rudely disappointed and bereft, and don’t know where to turn. Again, the Course helps us by telling us:
Put not your faith in illusions. They will fail you. Put all your faith in the Love of God within you; eternal, changeless and forever unfailing. This is the answer to whatever confronts you today. Through the Love of God within you, you can resolve all seeming difficulties without effort and in sure confidence. Tell yourself this often today. It is a declaration of release from the belief in idols. It is your acknowledgment of the truth about yourself.
Our Buffalo Bills fandom, all our trips to the mall, all our hours at work, even our family drama, and religious observance won’t and can’t save us in the end. The Course tells us that what will save us in the end is the “Love Of God within you.” Do you believe this? Do you have faith in this promise?
It is written in the introduction to A Course In Miracles:”The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance.”
And my faith is that things will be all alright in the end. And if, right now, things are not alright, it is because we aren’t at the end yet. And that end is what the Course calls the Atonement which is when everybody loves everybody all the time. We have a way to go yet on our human journey towards the Atonement but we get glimpses of it here and there which is a little taste of what heaven is like.
In the 60s there was a phrase in common language on the streets, “Keep the faith!” And this week, I pass it along to you, encouraging you to “keep the faith.”