Faith over Certainty

 There are those who suggest that faith and spirituality provide answers. I myself used to subscribe to the John Maxwell school of ideology; life can be broken down into manageable steps. One can master the Four Leadership Steps, the Seven Ways to tap into your potential, or the Twenty-One Laws of Leadership. Just follow the rules (usually based on Scripture) and you will have control over your life. Ha! Life is always throwing us curve balls. No matter how much we like to think we are in control, life is unpredictable.

That doesn't mean we go through life completely unprepared. There are certain skills and traits one can develop that actually help us live in community. Rather than rules we must adhere to, I see these as truths that enlighten us. The Ten Commandments, for example. Are they laws that demand punishment should we break them? Or are they karmic truths that say if you cheat your neighbor and treat people like property you will end up paying a price? A Rule of Life could be as simple as "Your Reap What You Sow" or "Spread a Little Sunshine" or "Don't be a dick!" 

In the field of Improv you can find a list of rules such as never deny, say yes and, and make your partner look good. They are not improv "laws." They are truths that make your scenes better and therefore funnier. When I tell people I have to go to improv practice I get quite a few laughs. "It's improv, how can you rehearse if you don't have a script?" Unlike a scripted show, we don't rehearse lines or blocking, what we do is practice the skills of letting go, listening, and being there for each other. We prepare our minds to face the unexpected. We attune ourselves to be in the moment and accept what ever happens.

For me, this is where faith and spirituality come to play. God's Holy Spirit is that power in me that prepares me for what ever life can throw at me. It's a mighty wind, a wild goose (in Celtic spirituality) a raging fire, or the creative force that hovered over the waters in Genesis. I see it also in the teaching of Buddhism. Just this morning in my Tiny Buddha Daily Calendar, "Step back, Breathe, Assess... Release the urgent need to figure it all out right now." In essence, have Faith. You don't need to know all the answers. You aren't expected to have it all together. Don't panic if you feel in the dark. The Christ, the Buddha, even Improv says, "be in the moment, let go, and trust."

There is one certainty religion or spirituality does offer, you are not alone. I can't guarantee you won't experience pain, or loss, or disappointment.  What I can be certain of is that life is not out to get me. Everyone experiences these moments and feelings. I can be certain I am not alone. God provides community and God provides The Holy Spirit. Sometimes it means we sit in the discomfort for a while. That's okay. Faith doesn't promise you a rose garden. It promises that you'll get through this. Don't panic, step back, breathe, asses, and put things in perspective. 


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