Monday, December 08, 2014

S.R. asked "What do you do when your faith and your reality are in opposition?"

I thought about that for a while, looking at my understanding of "faith" and my understanding of "reality".

It turns out that I figure that probably neither my faith nor my perception of reality are 100% accurate.  And because of that, I try to live gracefully with that understanding of my own imperfect faith and perception,  which imperfection, I believe, is part of the life of every person whether they know it or not. So I have learned to primarily focus on trying to act according to the principles and qualities of life and interaction that I am learning are most essential to approximating my understanding of the teachings of Jesus in the books I believe are divinely inspired and the guidance I imperfectly receive through prayer. 

I believe that my (or anyone else's) understanding of what is, and what will be, or what we hope will be will always, to one extent or another, be "through a glass darkly" throughout my life. And I believe that faith ultimately consists not in what I expect, nor what others declare, nor what I hope will happen now or any time in the next 1000+ years, but rather in my determination to live and act, as best I understand, according principles that I understand to be of God, and according to whatever divine, loving inspiration I think I personally have (imperfectly) received up to that point in regards to my own interaction with others, regardless of my circumstances, the perceptions or understanding of others, or the contradictions surrounding me or my perceptions. 

In other words, living by faith in a contradictory world is, for me, choosing to live according to the light I have received so far, knowing that my perception of the light (and anyone else's) is imperfect, and continuing in spite of that. 

And I have learned, sometimes the hard way, that in order to live such a life charity and patience and gentle forbearance towards myself and others are as completely essential as is my commitment to light and seeking to walk with God.

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