by: Agent Kevin Miller
One of my dearest friends on the planet, spiritual mentors and a guy who convicts me, is Ronnie Freeman. I did a really great interview with him recently on Free Agency that I’ll post when I get around to it…
If you listen to the podcast, his song “Break Away” is the intro and outro.
Anyway, he has a great song called “If You Believe.” My wife says it came from a rant I went on with Ronnie one day on the front porch. Maybe so. But the first line in the song says, “If you believe it’s really gonna rain today, where’s your umbrella…are you gonna roll the windows up?”
We really DO what we believe in. What we place our faith in. If we don’t do something, then we don’t really believe. We usually blow it off as a ‘lack of faith.’ But truly, I think that’s a false perception. An atheist does not lack faith at all. They have HUGE faith…just not in a G-O-D. But in something else.
So with work and life, let’s look at it. Jack will be our character. Jack has a desk job at a mid size company. He commutes 45 minutes to work, so he only has time for a brief kiss on the head to each kid before he’s off. Work is not terrible, but it’s no secret he’s there to earn an income, that’s it. He’s good at what he does, but doesn’t feel it serves any grand purpose other than some sense of achievement (pat on the back) and reward (money and status). It consumes the majority of his life. By the time he’s headed home, there is little time to fully plug in past the urgent things. He’s further and further out of touch with the context of his wife and kid’s lives. And this…bothers him. More and more all the time, though it’s not overly acute.
He’s thought about going after some of the things that really inspire him and give him meaning. But even the thought of pursuing something or investing in some initial steps feels daunting and overwhelming and lonely. He’s succumbed to the reality that he just doesn’t have enough faith
The truth is, Jake has plenty of faith, and it’s in the perceived security of his life. He places his faith in that each and every day with his actions. Frederick Buechner says that if you want to see what someone believes…just watch where their feet take them.
Here is a Facebook discussion page where I posted this question:
“What are life values that you would like to make more of a priority? That…if circumstances allowed, you’d commit more to? Such as…more involvement in family (spouse/kids/other), more attention to personal health and wellness, pursuing an increased spiritual life, helping and serving humanity in some way, etc…”
– read all the responses here
‘Jake’ has faith in his job and that it is something he should be grateful for. He has faith in his finances….as long as the job continues he’s paying the bills and money isn’t tight. Some is going into a retirement fund that he feels he will have to rely on. If he lost his job, he’s pretty confident he’d get a severance package that would tide him over till he found a comparable job with another company. He has faith that his kids are growing up like most kids, without their Father as the primary caregiver, but they’ll be OK. Similarly he and his wife spend about as much time involved in each other’s lives as most couples he knows and he has faith in that.
So ultimately, he has placed his faith in the norm and the culture. Which is perfectly logical! We were born into this culture and the culture supports itself in it’s mutual, unified acceptance.
Just as an atheist has placed their faith in The Big Bang Theory; that a great explosion took place in space and ultimately gave us the world we know today that works with incredible design and accuracy. Which in essence is like saying, “I believe a tornado could pass over a salvage yard and launch out a completed 747 airplane, intact, engine on, coffee burning, pillows fluffed and in flight!” That’s more faith than I have…my lesser faith will go with the Big Guy in the sky…
Jack has in essence said, “I believe the outcome of life as we know it will turn out OK, and that’s where I’m placing my faith, by choosing to continue and participate in the same actions day after day.”
Choosing to do differently, is placing that faith elsewhere. In another belief system. One that puts values, purpose, meaning, service, legacy, balance, wellness and relationships at a premium. The faith in culture, Jack’s faith, risks these things. A new faith in values, purpose, meaning, service, legacy, balance, wellness and relationships will possibly risk the perceived security and consistency of Jack’s faith, AND…will drastically rock the boat of the norm.
But imagine fisherman who head out to sea to catch big fish. The sea may be rough with risk of storms and hardship, but…catch one big fish, and they can head home sooner and stay home longer! However, little by little they gravitate to calmer waters. They only catch smaller fish, which means it takes most of the day to catch enough fish to sustain their families. The lack of waves keep them from working so hard, but over time they become weaker and less frail from working out their muscles. Their sense of risk and adventure and triumph has lessoned too, and many of the men are becoming despondent and seeking out hard drink, carousing with women and mind-numbing entertainment in an effort for some adrenaline.
You get the picture, eh?
But come on, think about it? We do, what we believe in.
YOU…are doing…what you believe in. Does that sicken you like it does me? To put it that way?
“I’m putting my faith and belief in that freakin’ donut?” Oh man, that’s harsh.
What do you believe in? State it, then do it. What else is there?
If you have some thoughts on this episode you can:
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– Email me at [email protected].
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