My faith does not depend. Does yours?
That statement probably seems unfinished, but actually, I don’t think it could be more complete. Usually, “depend” is followed by something else. For example, I’ve often quoted a pastor I once knew who said her faith does not depend on a virgin birth or a divine Jesus. To her, and to me, whether Jesus was born of a woman who had never had sex is simply not important. Whether Jesus was God or a human doesn’t matter since we’re all of God.
But I’m willing to go farther. When I look around at the magnificence of creation—cats to caterpillars and humans to hornets—I’m absolutely convinced that there is a very good God. My faith stands strong in the face of the world it examines.
To be clearer, I should explain what I mean by faith. The dictionary says faith is a “belief and trust in and a loyalty to God.” That’s what I mean. The second definition of faith in my dictionary is “belief in the traditional doctrines of religion.” That, for certain, is not what I mean.
Traditional doctrines of one religion, Christianity, require a belief in a divine-and-human Jesus, an ark of pairs as well as commandments carried down from a mountaintop. But my faith does not depend. If the existence of Jesus were disproved, my faith would remain strong. If Noah and Moses turned out to be aliens from a faraway galaxy playing tricks on our simpler species, my faith would survive.
I believe in and experience a God that is bigger than Jesus, bigger than even the Old Testament’s grandest figures and, amazingly, bigger than Mohammed, the Buddha and all of God’s other messengers, too.
You see, my faith in God transcends even the word faith. The word implies belief despite the absence of proof, but I see the proof of God in every aspect of creation. Do you?
If you’ve reached a point where your faith no longer depends on the traditional doctrines of religion, you just may have transcended simple religion in favor of something even simpler: spirituality. Religion, at its worst, is dependence on complex patterns of belief. Spirituality, at its best, is a very real joining with the spirit of God.
Take a little time to examine what you believe. Then imagine the freedom you could find if at least some of your human-created doctrines gave way to the spirit of God. You might find the true connection with God and with other people for which your soul has always been longing.
Set aside the ideas that stand between you and God. Then, experience the full splendor of God more fully than ever.