Friday, January 16, 2009

Faith At The End Of The Day

Faith is a funny thing. Faith is also dead serious. Faith is relieving though it is also a burden. Faith brings great comfort but sometimes the comfort is delivered in the form of dissonance. So faith is a paradox…I guess anything that instigates belief without proof is paradoxical. One thing that faith can never been is inconsequential…the presence or absence of faith effects behavior.
Either life has to be lived by faith or not. Stumbling happens. Shortfalls will always be. Mistakes are made. However, we know that the God of our faith not only accepts those things that seem to diminish or prove the absence of faith to us, He actually is found living, thriving and redeeming those very things. Our Creator is our foundation when we stumble over the walls of sand we have constructed in our lives. The Author of our faith makes up the difference when our life isn’t enough. The Holy One is the master of taking our mistakes and using them for His glory.

Faith is a funny thing. Faith asks things of us that are often more paradoxical than faith itself. We are called to be slow. We are to be slow to speak and slow to become angry. We are also called to be quick. We are to be quick to listen, quick to serve one another, quick to forgive one another, quick to bear one another’s burdens and quick to lift one another up.

In the moments when our faith seems to lapse and our zeal for God seems to be overcome by the life we might otherwise have without the love of our Father, we may be quick to become angry, quick to speak and utterly slow in recognizing the love we have been shown is only ours to keep in so far as it is shared with those closest to us. Forgiveness and encouragement is like love in that we can only borrow the heart of the Father to the degree that we extend His grace, mercy and understanding to others. Showing grace and doing mercy in any of their numerous forms aren’t the primary goals, as wonderful as they are. Love is the main point and to the One who establishes everything, it is the only point. Love never fails and it is the driving force behind the very inventor of life and light.

Speaking of light, when we walk in faith, we walk in the light. When we walk in the light we have continuous fellowship with God and those near us. The aspect of light is as important as the aspect of continuous. When my efforts fail and when my mind wanders I am clean. Not because sin isn’t dirty or guilt isn’t bitter, but because God is sufficient. His love is purer than my dirt is dirty. His goodness outweighs and overshadows the burdens I place on His alter.

At the end of the day God is or He isn’t. That doesn’t mean that His image is always reflected perfectly through the live we project. It doesn’t mean that we eventually come to “the end of the day”. When the dust of confusion settles, the waves of emotions calm and the clutter of chaos is swept away, we all have an “end of the day”. In that moment, who will we be? When nothing is left of our surrounding circumstances what will be left of us? The only thing that remains is love. However, in the shadows of love we find lurking the necessary inferences of the love we receive and share in turn. We find the desire to accurately express our love. We find the need to hear the heartbeat of others. We find the strength to move past the obstacles that imperfect love has placed so cumbersomely in our paths. In our desires, needs and strength we don’t find love, but we do find the clarity with which to experience the love from others and for others.

May we never lose sight of the end of the day and may we be found at the end of the day failing better than we ever have before.

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