As this chapter of my life comes to a close, I have come to several realizations. I have chosen to focus on what I have done and learned, rather than the “shoulda, woulda, coulda” thoughts that always plague my mind.
I believe in belief. As redundant as that may sound, it is something that has taken me my whole life to realize. What is belief? To me it’s everything…as well it should be. After all, if I had no system of belief there would be no point in living, it would just be waking up, eating, going to sleep…repeat. I’m the type of person who asks “Why?”. I’m the type of guy who asks what if?—I need an explanation for everything. I need to think beyond the normal realms of thought, to transcend the thought that occurs in our everyday mundane lives. Like a brick wall, it finally hit me—or rather, I ran into it—I shouldn’t try to avoid these thoughts uncertainty, I needed to question myself. I needed to find out what I believe.
I have to be honest, I’ve always been skeptical of the “faith” that so many church-goers have in God. I mean yeah, I would go to church and hear the same old messages but it never really sunk. It always seemed like what they did was all for show. It was like everyone around me was a part of a play that I never got a part in. But last summer, my whole world was turned upside down. I got the chance of a lifetime when I got to travel to Costa Rica and rebuild a broken community. Since I could write a book on the experience, I’ll keep it very short for the sake of this paper…
If you have no idea what the climate of Costa Rica is like let me give you a two word definition: Torrential DOWNPOUR!!! This isn’t the nice rain that sprinkles down on the flowers during April…no, this is more like the worst monsoon you could ever imagine! Unbeknownst to us, we highly underestimated the severity of this weather, thinking it was only a light afternoon rain.
It was our first day on the worksite, and at 8 am, our spirits were high—we were ready to go! By 11 am, we had cleared the ground for three cement squares but the clouds were rolling in. At noon, the clouds broke and instantly we were soaked. Like I said before, this was no ordinary rain. While eating our wet sandwiches, we huddled together under a steel roof to keep warm. Suddenly, we were very concerned for the success of our mission over the next 14 days. After struggling in the pounding rain to complete just one cement square, we returned to the Costa Rican Community Center and prayed for clear skies.
I have never prayed so hard in my life. I knew that if the rain kept pouring at the pace it did that day, we would be lucky if we got 20 yards done! I set aside my desire to finish the project with my own strength, I put my complete faith in God.
The next day, we had full faith that God would provide great weather to get the job done. We had never worked so hard because now we had full confidence. At about 11 am, the storm clouds were coming in again, but we kept working. To say we were concerned would be a major understatement, but at noon, the impossible happened. We all looked up and directly above our heads was a clear blue sky—surrounded by pitch black storm clouds within a mile radius! For the next two weeks God provided perfect weather, and the sidewalk we were making ended up being over 4 football fields long!
It wasn’t till this trip that I put my full faith in Him. Ever since that trip, I’ve believed that every day is a gift from God and without him I would be helpless. He has always given me the strength I’ve needed. He’s been my clear sky in the midst of the storm. I believe in belief, because without belief I would be living a pointless life. He has given me a reason for living and my life has never been the same after I chose to completely rely on Him.
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