This I Believe Essay
I believe that faith is a choice. Often people talk about faith as a feeling. A feeling of certainty, and for many that is what it is. It helps me to believe that faith can start with a choice, and that the feeling may become more or less a gift, at another point in time. Such as if you have a strong feeling that you can talk to people and get them through difficult times, then you may have a gift for counseling. I am the daughter of an ordained pastor who started seven churches back in Rhode Island, so I know what i am supposed to believe: The Bible, as outlined by the Apostles’.
Recently in a Bible discussion with my mother, I had to admit that my faith as a feeling of certainty, never goes higher than 95%. The moment i loooked inside myself and asked if I truly believe, at least five percent of doubt creeps in. For example, I was looking for a paper that we had to turn in for my government class, and I must have went to three different post offices, and and library. When I got home that day, i asked my mother if she had received one in the mail. She said that she had received one and would look for it. my father said that he thought that he had thrown it out. Five minutes later, my mother came from upstairs with the exact paper that i needed. Was it a coincidence, or had God let my mother save it instead of throw it away.
I remember deciding about my faith. I was sitting in my living room, and my mother was telling me stories about when she was a pastor, and the things she saw and did. For example, she knew this one guy, who was good friends with her and he attened church on a regular basis. You know, your average joe. One day, however, this guy came to my mothers house and had asked her if she would do an exorcism on him. He had the idea that he was possed. So my mom agreed to the exorcism, and turns out, the guy was envisioning that he had cut my mom into little pieces and put them in a box and shipped it back to california where my grandmother lived. She also told us the story of when her father had past away. She would cry and cry and cry, because she missed him so much. At that time she was 13, and never really got over the fact that she did not have a father through the toughest times as a teenager, amongst other things. She worried for years and years that her father did not get into heaven and that she would never see him again. A few years later, when she was in bible college, she was sleeping one night and had this dream that her father ran up to her and gave her the biggest hug. They did not speak a word but she knew that everything was going to be alright. That is when i decided that i would follow in my mothers footsteps, and become a christian. I had also thought about what she said, and being younger, i did not really understand what she had told me.
A few years later, when i was much older, i had another discussion with my mother and elaborated on the things that she had told me before, afriad that i would not understand her reason for some of the things that she did. Some things did not add up i have to admit, but the fact of the matter is that most of what she was sayingcould not be explained, logically anyways. during this discussion however, my mother had noticed that i had some noon-understanding looks on my face, and asked me a few questions such as, “Do you believe, for example, that Jesus really walked on water?” or, “Do you really believe that the whole galaxy just’popped’ into existence?” That made me realize that my mother had an interesting point. Later on that night, i standing outside, just admiring the stars, and i thought to myself,” How could all of this just ‘pop’ into existence?” It just did not make sense.
Later, as i was lying in my bed, I had to think. I decided that if I believed in a God who created the universe, and it’s laws, then he has a right to not let you understand something, because maybe it is not the right time in your life to understand it or maybe you truly are not ready to understand it, and that is ok. So i chose to be a believing christian, and buying into a system that says our Creator loves us, forgives us, that his humanincarnation died for us, that He wants us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, that seems like a pretty good choice to me. I admit, there have been times when it seems like god has had an important hand in my life. for example, the time when we found out that my mom has cancer. That was a very difficult time for me. I did not fully realize that i was not alone all that time when i was upset or angry.
I told my mother about what i had thought about, and that i decided to become a christian like her. Oh my gosh, she was so happy. i laughed so hard at that.I have to admit, there are moments when i have my doubts, but who doesn’t. It is all just a part of life and It is all something that we must experience i guess. All i know is that whenn I am singing a hymm, whose words i know well, when i am singing among other christians, i do not need to feel self-conscious about my own voice. Then come moments when my faith i have chosen to live my life by seems to fill my heart, and the feeling of 100% certainty is there. As long as i do not try think about it.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.