Just Believe

Here I go again, writing about an occasion or holiday the day after it’s over.

I admit it is anti-climactic to post about Easter in the blogosphere when the working world is back to business. In my defense, I rarely have much to write about without experiencing it first. This blog is about the experience of the everyday, not speculation.

I’ve never imagined God cares much for occasions, anyway. It’s not like God’s time is measurable on a calendar. Ask the victim if there is a good time to forgive, she won’t say “I can schedule some forgiveness in next week, say Monday at 9:30?” Or, “I would repent this Tuesday at two, but I’m meeting with my accountant.” Calendar celebrations are important to us, but not important to the Maker. I mean, this whole humanity thing is only a blip on life’s radar, after all. It’s hard to imagine the creator of the universe doing anything in the measurement that we call time.

My faith journey can be summarized with two simple words: just believe. The source of my more radical beliefs is rooted in simple evidence: my life today. It is nothing like the life I was living ten years ago. Something changed. What changed is faith. Namely, I have faith today that I didn’t have before. And because of that, nothing is the same.

That’s where I try to let go of the linearity of it all. That’s the launching point where I just believe. If living life with faith can bring joys such as this in my life:

then I have no issue with imagining that faith can move mountains, walk on water, or resurrect.

Having radical beliefs in our existence is so much easier than putting trust in the world to answer the difficult questions. The world is such a constant disappointment.

The world drops bombs and rushes through lethal injections the way you rush to use up milk before it expires. Why even be disappointed anymore? It’s the world. In my experience, the world is built to disappoint. It’s that Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane stuff.

“Rosebud!”

Even if you conquered the world, you’d die longing for the simple faith of a child.

All I need to do in order to believe that death can be conquered is hold my daughter. When she puts her head on my shoulder and I experience that rush of bursting happiness, I know that faith can do anything.

So why not let it?

24 Responses to “Just Believe

  • Faith, simple for even a child. Makes my heart happy to see someone else grow in their faith. My hope is that people really take in what you are saying, because it always has such a powerful message. Have a great week, only four more for me.

    • As I just wrote to you, Kip. It’s really helpful to have your message in my life. Thank you for inspiring.

  • It is a gift and yet I still find myself asking for help with my unbelief

    • Me too. It helps to write it all out every now and then. This one was difficult to get on the screen. So, I really appreciate that you read it and had some feedback for me. And that you could relate.

  • Simple faith lives within the kairos time. Chronos time has disappointments, for sure. Maybe a few successes and delightful surprises (or not so delightful). Marking time perhaps can be more kairos than chronos, but only if a person first acknowledges that this ephemeral world is passing. The world moves on . . .

    • Pass, passing, passed. I would like to here more of this time concept. I’ve heard you mention before, I think. But, I’m unfamiliar with it. Thanks for reading, Dan.

  • You are absolutely right!! I talk to Jesus and our Father every day, so I know every day He is alive!!

  • Just believe. Isn’t it amazing that its that simple? Thanks for such a refreshing reminder.

    • Thanks Annette. I’m glad it was refreshing. Wasn’t sure what this one was for a while. So, I’m glad it resonated with you.

  • So powerful Mark. It is difficult living with executions and war. I struggle still with faith. Often I find myself living between spaces, divine and earthly, faith and reality, hope and disappointment. Many quantum physicists would also argue against time being linear, perhaps then our experience is not the in-between, the one or the other, but instead more simultaneous and integrated. Anyhow I’m rambling, Happy belated Easter to you and your family. Love the picture, your daughter is precious!

    • Thanks Marahu–I rambled for a long while before I came to the piece that I posted. Like you, I struggle to find the words for it. It’s so a part of me, but how to convey that to another? I’m glad you rambled. By rambling, we stumble over some big truths, I think.

  • I still struggle with faith!
    I have less than a grain of mustard seed, that’s for sure!
    I look for the wonders of the day, maybe a friend, a sunset, kiss from hubs.
    Happy Easter!
    xo
    Wendy
    PS – I had to look up the big words you used!

    • Join the struggle! I think it’s better we struggle with faith. If not, it’s like we’re pretending we have it all figured out. Thanks Wendy.

  • Happy Easter, to you and your family. Always enjoy the way you lay thoughts out on paper, a pleasure indeed. Thank you!

  • I’ve always had hope and faith even in the darkest times. Saved my life, for sure:)

  • stepsherpa
    1 week ago

    I’m a people worshipper. Damn untreated alcoholic I am..Son of a….An emotional puzzle master of sorts. Complicated. All things to all people. Yup… A real crowd pleaser, a foot stompin chicken in the bread pan pickin out dough. Weeee! The meeting last night was terrible so now? I’m all over the place, shaving a Picasso in the bathroom mirror. A live wire searching for a ground. Is it in my whackjob brotherinlaw? My property tax I am late on? The carpet I still haven’t steamed the cat puke stain out of? Money I don’t have? Can today be different? Can I be grounded in people places and things? How about the power of resentment or maybe just a but of negativity? Just a bit? Give it to me I’ll fix it this one time!!Nope…I wish I could just get over it, face it willingly, I just can’t do it myself.

    Now, I have to ask myself every once in a while? Ok, this morning…I asked myself this morning? Am I giving freely what has been given to me without expectation? Which is it? Power of example or example of power? A fearful condescending helpy helper do or frustrated dictator, great options. ..

    Or am I the self centered AA entertainment. Gandhi on the outside, Don Rickles on the inside..Substituting the hey I’m here for one night only , be sure to tip your waitresses with I’ve been sober today and be sure to welcome the newcomer with a handshake at the door..

    Either way, how do you like me so far? Because with my best arrangements and your validating nudge nudge wink wink? I’m ok with myself. You like me so I like me.. good. done. Of course that’s never enough for me, no. Now that I’ve tapped that keg I know where to get my self esteem. People power! Now I can steal a little more emotional security and really feel great! The whole one’s good two’s better chestnut… I mean really, am I here for me or am I even at my best selfishly arranging others to suite myself. My empty void of existence a quagmire of what I think others should think. Have I become a participant finally? A part of life? Good ole uncle Stepsherpa? Or just a new layer of exposed self centeredness I’ll need to negotiate my way through or around or over just to feel accepted….

    Wellll?? Not today. No thanks. Been there done….no, been there still doing that apparently. For me? It’s a Big Book Step 7 thingy. A God thing, a Higher Power thing, a Spiritual thing. I know that, I understand that, it’s just.. I can’t seem to retain it (call me crazy, it’s ok) so I remind myself each morning upon awakening. God, I surrender myself to you, all of me good and bad, success and failure, direct my thinking to what you would have me be. How may I best serve you and my fellows. Grant me courage and strength to overcome my selfishness and fear today that I may pack what I can in this stream of life. Let me live that I may serve you and all that encompasses the Spiritual realm….

    I think I’ll bring the memory of my friend who died of brain cancer with me today. We will walk the Spiritual path together just as we did when he was physically here each day. It’ll be fun. He will live forever in my day. Life after death.

    • Your ramblings have these nuggets of truth, Sherpa. I’m always encouraged to see you commented. You dance with some very deep reflection for a post intending to keep the faith-life simple. A hug from a baby.
      But, I have to say, in all the ways you see yourself, I’ve learned that I’ve never been able to see myself clearly. However I see myself, I surely am not that person. I think our identity runs so much deeper than the shallow-surface level we usually gauge it on.
      I’m sorry for your friend. I’ll be attending a memorial service for my friend who died from opiate use this Saturday. Maybe we can pray for each other in our loss and take steps forward in grief…together…nothing like taking steps forward…together, right?

    • If our insides matched our outsides the world we be a very different looking place.

      That step 7 seperate the men from the boys stuff ain’t easy. It’s freedom at it’s finest. But, it ain’t easy.

      I’ve found that I’m able to experiences glimpses of it, that spiritual realm you describe, but it’s not place you can pitch a tent and live in. Thank God for children, for such reminders.

  • stepsherpa
    1 week ago

    Mares eat oats and doe’s eat oats and little lambs eat ivy. I thought it was maresidotes and dozidotes and littlelamzidivy. I mean really, ring around the rosie, a pocket full of posie, ashes to ashes, we all fall down is a children’s rhyme about leaving the dead outside for the bubonic plague cart to bring family to the fire pit? Well, I for one, see what I want to see.

    I know..I get it..My choice..

    Untreated Alcoholism, Addiction, Depressed into the depths of loneliness and utter despair. Some see a new day of hope while others dream of the end. The homeless, migrant social workers wandering their lives helping the emotionally blinded with fragmented outstretched hand or a willing foot hold on their back. A gift for another nobody, cutting deep into a hardened shoulder. Come on! Come with me! up and out! This way!…HERE!!! Feel the beauty of the people forest, the beauty of life.

    A little beautiful baby girl, a new born. A toehead perfect in every way in my eyes. Last night with her parents, a newly sober mom on methadone and a dad who is under the watchful eye of DSF. Will they make it? To wherever “it” is? I don’t know. I want them to be good to eachother so I am good to them by being good to myself. The power of example, the chain of recovery. I go over and offer positive support, affirmation, a smile. He knows I am here for him if he wants my kind of help. He knows I live on the firing line of alcoholism. He knows I am emotionally approachable, willing to offer myself to him if it will serve any good purpose.

    I have delivered my daughter from the smoking area, played catch with my son from the barstool. I ran all the way home and the door was locked. This is who I am to the newly suffering alcoholic man. But in my recovery? This is who I was. The beauty of my life today is I can come and go freely. I can serve the suffering man with my experience. What it was like, what happened and what it’s like now. I am very fortunate today. I want for nothing but willingness to offer myself. My children are older than I am.

    Thanks for the comment Mark. And the visual. You are a power of example.

  • Amazing words. I felt faith after reading. Thank you Mark. It’s the same when I hold my granddaughter. Her love and innocence in my arms is just the mustard seed I need sometimes ❤

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