Faith in a Time of Fury
Some days, I wake up and wonder if my belief in a better future still makes sense.
I’ve always been wired that way. Some days, belief is easier than others, and it’s not just when things are going well.
I’ve found faith easy on days when it seemed like the air was fire around me, and struggled to make it through the night on days when luck seemed in my favor. In my experience, that’s just the nature of faith.
But lately, there are more days where I wake up and wonder, Seriously?
And I know I’m not the only one.
Vision Requires Faith
I happen to work around a lot of people who I would call visionary — they have a high capacity for seeing things that could or should be, and possess a drive to make those possibilities reality. I love working with people like that because, A) I’m one of them myself, and B) they always have something amazing to work on.
As I’ve worked with more and more visionary people over my career, one of the key components of being able to see a better tomorrow is the belief that there will be a better tomorrow.
Visionaries are people of great faith.
Now that faith is sometimes rooted in a religious belief system, and sometimes it’s rooted in a non-religious one. But regardless, the visionaries I’ve worked with are powered by a strong and cherished set of beliefs, and those beliefs are present day-in and day-out.
Sometimes those beliefs are put to the test by circumstances, sometimes they’re put to the test by flawed outcomes, but almost always, the visionary’s beliefs survive intact.
When Faith Flees
As I mentioned, belief systems vary. My belief system is rooted in the existence of God and his revealed truth, which means I read the Bible and live according to the principles I find therein. So there are some big beliefs I carry with me on a daily basis:
- My existence isn’t pointless. I am here for a purpose.
- Good always triumphs over evil.
- Love always triumphs over hate.
- There is a promise of a better outcome — the things that we know are evil and horrible will one day cease to exist.
Now, these beliefs have served me well, but they also carry some significant costs as the world doesn’t always operate on the same assumptions.
There are times when evil seems to win, and hate seems to strut victorious down the street.
There are times when the “better day” belief feels more like a cruel trick than an anchor of hope.
And, since I’m human, there are days when I wake up and wonder if my life actually has a purpose or if I’m merely deluding myself.
When I feel those tensions, there is always one, simple option that I consider. I think about it, roll it over in my brain, and examine it carefully for the nth time. And it’s the most pragmatic and logical option there could be.
I consider giving up my beliefs.
The Fury Failure
Okay — before you get nervous, there is no Jesus Juke coming. (If you don’t know that term, Google it — it’s from the brilliant Jon Acuff.) This isn’t where I transition and try to convince you to adopt my beliefs.
This is where I tell you that whatever your beliefs are, they’re worth holding onto. That’s not only been the case in my life, it’s been the case with other visionaries as well.
Belief is what steadies us in unsteady times, and in case you haven’t noticed, we’re living in an age of turbulence. An age of fury. These are the days when what we believe matters more than ever.
I wake up and read story after story describing exactly how America’s political system and culture are racing towards Hell doused in gasoline carrying a torch and wearing a dynamite belt. I scroll through Twitter or Facebook and read never-ending insults and angry rhetoric.
And I’m not alone. When I talk with other visionaries, I hear the same fatigue in their voices that I feel in my soul. I hear the teetering confidence, the weariness, the wondering when “this” (whatever “this” is) will be over. I see the same temptation I struggle with — to just chuck our beliefs and give in to the fury.
But fury fades. It doesn’t last. The anger that seems to drive so many people must constantly find a new source material, a new fuel to keep them moving. It’s why the narratives about what matters change on a weekly/daily/hourly basis.
Fury is not self-sustaining. Fury does not give life.
Where You Go
That means belief — faith — is the only real answer. Even when believing in something good or better or higher feels stupid or pointless, it is essential for finding our way through the challenging times. You have to have something better to pull you forward, else you fall into the fury that surrounds you.
Sometimes, in the midst of a shit-storm, you just have to hold your umbrella tight, run for cover, and know that the storm is going to pass.
So don’t give up. Don’t give into the impulse to abandon what you believe, what you hold dear, just to alleviate a temporary pain. Because that’s what moments like these are — temporary.
Grit your teeth. Burrow down a bit. Resolve to focus on what you know is good and right and true. Live that out on a daily basis. Your vision for that better world, better outcome, better tomorrow, is totally worth it.
Just remember that there are others like you who are waiting out the storm with you, ready to take rebuild once the winds have passed.
Keep the faith, folks. Keep the faith.