I Believe in Believing

Mike - St George, Utah
Entered on January 21, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: work
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I believe in believing. I am not referring solely to the faith we refer to when we think of religion. I speak of the belief that you can do whatever you set out to do. I also refer to faith as the driving force in the lives of every last person on this planet. These two variations of faith are required in order to have faith in a higher power. Many people say they have faith without the most meager understanding of what faith is. Many people also claim to have no faith when they disprove that statement every day by their actions. All actions are done because of faith.

When I wake up in the morning, I do it because I believe it will benefit me in some way. When I go to class and try to open my mind and learn new things, I do it with the belief that it will make lots of money for myself and my family someday, that I will feel accomplished by so doing, and that it will make me a better person; a person I can be proud to be. I used to go to school when I was a teenager with the belief that once I had finished high school, life would be easier. I now attend college with the assurance that life only gets harder, but even with that in mind, I know that it will be more fulfilling as time goes on. When I departed my home to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I left believing that just by going some awesome spiritual experience would happen to me as a result. I did have a wonderful spiritual experience, but I made it myself by working hard to make my mission a meaningful experience. I got married thinking that my wife would make me happy. I now know that the only way to have a truly happy marriage is to work every day to make her happy. My faith has changed dramatically as I have grown, but not all at once, nor from a few monumental occurrences. It has changed every time I learned a truth, and is therefore still changing on a daily basis. I still do everything I do because I believe that it will improve my life in some way. I simply understand better what will improve my life as I continue to learn.

Every person I have encountered in my 23 years of life has faith. Everyone does everything they do because they believe it will somehow improve their life. Whether the lowliest criminal, the successful billionaire, or the President of the United States, everyone acts in a way that they believe will benefit themselves. If you pause and think about why you do any one thing that you do, you will find an answer to that question. When you find that answer, you have just shown that you have faith, and in what specifically. So, what do YOU have faith in?

Do you believe in miracles? I do. We have all heard of incredible things that happened when someone believed. This is not one of those stories, and I hope it will be even more inspiring because it isn’t. I was diagnosed with asthma when I was 11 years old. I could not run for more than a few seconds without feeling my lungs tighten, and sometimes I would simply not be able to breathe. I think one of the most terrifying feelings in the world for me is that of trying as hard as I could to take a deep breath and not getting more than a few ounces of air in my lungs. I took medication; a rescue inhaler for acute attacks, and a steroid inhaler twice a day. For many years, my condition did not improve. Because I couldn’t do any heavy exercise, I gained weight, and my self-esteem dropped. I couldn’t play like other kids could. I am still not sure what made me do it, but my senior year in high school I enrolled in three different strength and conditioning classes. The first time I actually ran the mile, I felt like I was going to throw up afterward. I ran it in over 9 minutes. The second time I ran it was even worse. I didn’t give up, and 6 months ago I ran a full marathon. It wasn’t easy. I wanted to give up numerous times during those 5 hours, but I didn’t, and finishing was one of the most satisfying moments of my life. My actions showed that I believed I could make a miracle, and because I believed, I was able to do something that had previously appeared impossible to me. I am not an extraordinary person. If I can do that, you can do something even more extraordinary. I believe in believing.