It isn’t easy to have faith.
Actually, it’s quite hard to live like a Christian, especially if we keep hearing that showing up for church on Sundays is good enough. Really, we’re supposed to be non-conformists of this world, conforming instead to the radical, non-violent, loving ways of Christ. Our faith life needs to be deep, prayerful and solid, and must direct all else in our life. God really is supposed to be our All in All.
I wonder if the increase of secularization in our culture is responsible for the myth that faith is only appropriate when its private and doesn’t offend others. I am concerned about how our youth are learning to practice our faith from us. Is it really okay for us to live in luxury, privilege and glamor while others suffer? Why do we practice our religion? Is it because we love God and the people of God (the Church)? Are we willing to go through major conversions in order to grow in union with God? Or, are we only willing to live our faith if it doesn’t ask us to change too much or get uncomfortable?
Certainly, living a life of Christian faith is simple in principle. It is a simple way, a way of Love. In actuality, it’s pretty challenging and demanding.
I am finding that it’s not easy to teach teenagers this principle- -the idea that having faith might require you to change, be uncomfortable, stand up for the vulnerable, make hard choices and be radically different from what popular society says is cool and acceptable.
I recently showed the following video to some of my students. Afterwards, when I asked the students to silently pray and contemplate how the story related to their lives, the classroom felt pretty intense. Faith is hard.
The good news is that if we really have deep faith that causes us to grow and change we never know what we might be able to do. Our faith strengthens us and unites us with a power greater than ourselves.
He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” -Matthew 17:20
Yes, as we grow in union with God, nothing is impossible. Because, for God, nothing is impossible and we are instruments of God.
Here’s another video, this time about how awesome it is to be an instrument of God:
Ok, faith is hard. But, its worth it. So may our faith increase, Amen!