I read a short article today that notes that people are changing their faith almost as quickly as they’re changing their underwear (my words, not the article’s). My guess is like everything else in our lives we’re also expecting quick fixes with our religions.
We expect our food to be fast; dramas in people’s lives crescendo and resolve themselves in 30 minutes or an hour; we expect a war to be fought and resolved within the time constraints of a movie. Our patience levels are at an all time low. It’s no surprise then that people are looking for that quick high with a higher power. And then when they don’t find it within the boundaries of one faith they go looking somewhere else. If I may borrow and reformulate from JFK: it’s not what can my faith do for me? But rather, what do I need to do for my faith.
I have to be careful not to be critical of the searching process. It is wonderful and essential that we search to find something to be meaningful to us. But, it’s a more serious issue than what most people believe it to be or at least what most people end up acting like. There are eternal consequences.
I think today people are looking for peace; a way to feel “connected” to something beyond themselves; maybe a way to feel “connected” within themselves. People are missing the point and it has to do with the immediacy that our culture is teaching us. The first purpose of religion and faith is not about the here and now. It’s to know what is going to happen to you when you die…when you no longer exist as a living human. Once you determine what’s going to happen to you when you die, then you begin to address the applications (and implications) of religion and faith in your present life.
I’m going to posit some questions to you:
what do you believe happens to humans when we die?
if your answer was anything other than “we cease to exist” then: what criteria must you meet on earth right now in order to get you there?
if you believe that this is what happens, then what about all the other beliefs? They can’t all be right. SO: what is the ultimate truth?* Is it really yours?
instead of asking what can your faith do for you ask what do I need to be doing because of my faith?
Think on these things.
*Ultimate truth is a whole other topic itself, so let’s save that one for another post.