Faith isn't the ability to believe long and far into the misty future.
It's simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.
- Joni Erickson Tada
Unless I am asked, I usually do not discuss religion or politics. Many of my friends know where I stand on relevant social issues and I have very definitive political views. By nature, I am not religious in the sense that I feel I need to preach my beliefs to another human being. For me, it's been private, and I'm just as comfortable with others speaking about their beliefs. I was raised Roman Catholic, and I have no need to follow any other organized religion, in spite of recent scandalous events. The atrocities committed by members of the church were human frailties What I've discovered, using Catholicism as home base, is my spirituality.
I believe in God; my relationship with Him is personal, and He is at the core of my faith. Throughout good times, and less than good times, I have used prayer and my faith as a compass -- my true North. There have been times when I have experienced raw emotional pain, so debilitating, so paralyzing, that although I've never been suicidal, fully understand how a person would do anything to make the pain stop. I have drawn on my faith to sustain me through those times, and it has enabled me to be grateful for all the other areas of my life when I was too self-absorbed to be thankful.
As the year winds down, I find myself, not unlike many others; reflective of the past, and perspective of the future.
My wish for myself is to have an open and empathic heart. One of my favorite quotes is from the book Illusions by Richard Bach : " You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them. You're always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past."
At first, I thought, well, you really can't have a different past. But, what this really means is that you can change your attitude about what in your past has hurt you. Because, the past really can not hurt you anymore....unless you dwell on it and it keeps you from moving forward. Kinda like having cement shoes on. Been there; done that.
Now, I am looking forward to a New Year and although I long ago gave up making resolutions, I have set some goals for myself and with a little help from my faith, will see them to fruition.