Reigniting One’s Faith

It is often difficult to keep faithful when the world around us is collapsing. How do we stay faithful?…How do we stay focused on the positive side of things?…How do we stay positive in the canvas of life?

Next is a story of how one woman lost her faith, only to realize it had never left.

A friend of mine told me of her Grandmother and how strong her faith was. Her Grandmother’s faith was the rock of the family, but one day her faith had been lost…

One day her Grandmother explained to her, “I feel that I am losing my faith and God has abandoned me. I don’t feel I have a purpose anymore.”  Her Granddaughter didn’t know what to do, so she called other family members to help restore her faith.

While consoling Grandma, one of the children had noticed something very peculiar in the kitchen. The refrigerator had the word faith spelled out in letter magnets. You know that kind…when we were little? We used to spell out words on our parents refrigerator. The family noticed the word faith was missing a letter ‘T.’

“Mom, here is your problem! You have lost the ‘T’ in faith on your refrigerator, this must be why you are missing your faith?!” Insisting they look for the ‘T’ and that her faith resides in that word, they looked high and low for the ‘T’. They looked inside the fridge and out, but could not find it anywhere. They even pulled the refrigerator out and looked behind…but nothing…they lost hope. This left her helpless. Not finding the ‘T,’ grandma was left on her knees crying out with her arms raised to the heavens. With arms extended up she cried out, “I just need to know that everything will be okay.”

The very next day grandma woke and began her day by asking God for a sign, “Please Lord give me a sign that everything is going to be okay.  I don’t know what I’m going to do.  I don’t know if I have a purpose anymore…please just tell me it’s going to be okay.”  As she approached the fridge…she opened it. As she opened the refrigerator, there was the ‘T’ on the shelf.  The ‘T’ clearly was not there the day before, but miraculously has appeared. As if God himself was telling her it’s going to be okay…He placed a ‘T’ upon her shelf.

The irony to the story:  just as grandma was looking for her faith on the outside, we too are reminded that our faith resides on the inside. Traveling an inward journey we find our faith is truly strong. While Grandma found her faith restored within the refrigerator, she realized it was restored within herself.

We all have our challenging moments in life, but how we react to them…shall define our days ahead. We can waffle in misery or we can Shine On!  As we move forward in faith, our hope is restored…hope for a brighter future. When things bring us to our knees, rest for a moment and await the miracle in action. If we have a moment of helplessness or loneliness…rest…it too shall pass.

We are never alone…even when we are. If we enjoy the company of those present when alone…we shall never be alone. Plus we have a Senior partner with us, at all times…waiting for us to begin dialogue. Even if the world crashes down around us…we shall be taken care of.

Stepping into the Canvas by faith. No matter the outcomes, we shall focus on our own house. Keeping our own house in order, happiness begins eternal. It is through our faith that all will be good, we attract just that…more of what we want in our lives. Through our faith, we gain hope and through Hope we align with higher vibrations of creativity…Creating the life we want to Live.

The Parable Of The Lonely Shepherd

It is often difficult to stay a course of The Way, without getting side-tracked or pushed down another path. The key to staying the course, is through mindfulness. When we practice awareness of who we are or our greatest desires, we tend to remain focused on that which we most desire. But what about the suffering around us? How do we pretend everything is ‘hunky-dory?’

While the pilgrim remains lost, seeking The Way, the Warrior is found practicing The Way.~Ani Po

It is typically a small few who will rise above suffering and despair. Subscribing to a destructive way of life no longer serves them well and they begin to see life as beautiful as it can be. While the suffering remains, focus shifts towards happiness.

Suffering will always exist, but affix not our gaze upon it.~Ani Po

It is often written that we are to “brush the dirt off our sandals,” moving on our way. This does not suggest we pretend it does not exist or smug those in need. Not at all! We are to help when possible, but when others are set in their ways, unwilling to listen to our suggestions of change, then we must free ourselves by ‘wiping our sandals clean.’ This next story is about a man who knows this all too well.

Ani Po has a good friend who is a Pastor for an inner city church and makes it his life passion to aid those who are lost. A day does not pass, when he tells Ani Po of another funeral, “buried another young man this past week.” I recall him asking, “How am I supposed to continue helping people, when I can’t help them?” Reminding him of the simple teachings “we cannot save anyone, but we can show them the water of life. We can show them to the well…but they must drink from it.”

He smiled, as if he already knew this, but it was helpful to be reminded. Just as he needed reminding, Ani Po is not impervious to reminding. Have you ever been there? Have you ever needed a good reminding, when the message needed shows up? We all have our moments when we trip, but how quickly we get up depends on our practice. When we practice mindfulness, we practice awareness of who we are and how we shall or want to react to a given situation.

But what of this lonely shepherd? Ani Po continues the conversation with her friend as she is reminded of the loneliness he must feel. As everyone else follows a given way, he attempts to shift their thinking to following The Way. Just as a shepherd tends to his flock, so to the Pastor from the city.

Ani Po knows the feeling of loneliness. As she assertively moves forward in The Way, she is ridiculed daily on how she chooses to live her life. She smiles regularly at the others, as she sees how that way is working out for them, but chooses a way of happiness.

Even under great scrutiny the good shepherd tends to the one lost sheep. He may even, if necessary, leave the rest of the herd unattended to attend to the one lost sheep. Ani Po knows this is how it is supposed to be and we are all to attend our flock, with willingness to abandon others to secure safety of the one lonely sheep.

This Pastor is a lonely shepherd. He goes into darkened regions, when everyone else has given up. He Lights a flame of Hope for those who have lost their faith. He does not follow a rule book, but he follows his heart. He does not Love one person and not the other…He Loves freely for All people, randomly sending Agape into the world…knowing that he was never really alone.

Stepping into the Canvas as a Lonely Shepherd…Often doing what is right when not accepted by the masses…even when they are going left, you go right. Our character is defined by our willingness to do what is right, not for any one person but ourselves. When we stop worrying about approval from others, we accept our own approval.