Pursuit of Faith
Faith, like all worthy things, is something that must be pursued. You cannot accidentally fall into faith, you must deliberately and continually attempt to understand, read and seek out information about God. There is an unending supply of information out there, on every type of faith, so you really have to come to understand why you are following the book, the person and the god that you chose. Not to be dramatic, but it is an eternal question: life and death. Chose wisely, right?
One of the things I love hearing about is why people chose to get baptized. Very few people make that kind of step to be trendy, so when they tell their stories there is always a draw for them to being a follower of Christ. I am fascinated by the number of older people that go through this process, not as a last stitch effort to get into a heaven, but following a long and thorough pursuit of their faith. Those are the most compelling stories to me; people that have gone through their whole lives as believers in a different religion or completely non religious and then research for years before committing to following Christ under the Christian umbrella. I admire those that take their time before making such a grand display of committing their lives to something bigger than themselves.
I love hearing people with a deep knowledge base talk about their passions, you can always tell the people that truly pursue those things and people that have a casual understanding. Our pastor, and people in our lives now have this and it is something I aspire to. They can read a book of the Bible, give you historical context of the time, compare it with other religious books and bring it all back to why it applies to our daily lives. That is incredible to me. I should say, not everyone with that kind of mind comes to the same conclusion. There are experts and professors that have read all of the religious texts and come out on the other side following all different faiths, or none at all, just pulling the overlapping ideas from all and creating their own version of belief. I find it fascinating that on this the experts can be so completely torn on which faith is the “true” one.
Personally, I hope to have a lifelong pursuit of my faith. I know there is a bigger force at work in my world than any worldly or natural thing. Humans have been constantly seeking to understand this godly being since the beginning of time. Even those who are non believers have a strong opinion on the matter. If there needs to be proof that a God or higher being exists just follow the human train of thought throughout all of time. Every culture has looked to the sky in an effort to understand, praise, and please their god or gods. It is a human condition to believe in more, in a force bigger than themselves. Looking at whole societies, not just individuals, you will see the emerging belief as a sum of their knowledge and driver of their actions. Most beliefs are not peaceful, and historically have evoked the worst in humans from fighting wars to live sacrifices of both animals and humans. Belief can also bring about the best in humans, showing compassion and empathy towards others, ornate and gorgeous ceremonial acts of pageantry, and coming together for something greater.
The 24-hour news cycle has told me there are parts to my Bible that preach hatred and make me as a believer a bad person if I hold up this book as my guide through life. I can’t say they are wrong, because I have so far to go in understanding and scouring this book, but from what I know so far is that love is the guiding principle throughout.
“Love them all, I will sort it out at the end”
is the closest thing I have seen out there to my ideas on it so far. I know there are many parts that I will have to pursue harder than others, take more time to research, more time to understand the text as and when it was written. I know there are parts that I will have trouble with following and understanding. That is why I believe that constant pursuit is a necessary part of faith.
Today I am green in my pursuits, but someday I hope to have a deep base of knowledge to lean on regarding my faith. Having faith is not about blindly believing in something that cannot be proved, but in believing in something greater based on a regular connection to that belief. Whatever your personal beliefs are, I encourage you to pursue it constantly and to question it always, for that is where the real growth will take place.