Walking By Faith

“Faith doesn’t get you everything you want! Thinking that we humans can trick the Divine into doing it our way is a belief. Sometimes it’s hard to know the difference. I have devised a little test to let me know whether I am operating from belief or faith:

If someone contradicts me, or believes differently, do I automatically and compulsively need to rally a scathing defense? Yes? That is belief! Can I fully trust that that the lives of others are also unfolding according to Divine plan? That living my life as a spiritual walk is the testimony I am qualified to give? That is faith.”

I just had to ping this quote from LIVING LIFE FULLY so that I do not lose it. Thanks, Naturalhigh!

“We walk by faith, and not by sight;
no gracious words we hear from him
who spoke as none e’er spoke;
but we believe him near.” ~~~
Henry Alford (1810-1871)

The full text is here.  There is music on that page, but the melody is not how we sing it at our church.

You may have guessed by now that I am very much musically oriented. Sometimes someone will say something, or I’ll read something that will trigger a “music response” and I’ll have to sing, in this case, write out the lyrics to the song that popping into my head. It’s something that has earned me the label of “weirdo” in some circles, but thank goodness I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t care what anyone will think of me or my little idiocyncrocies. In the past, I stifled such urges within myself; but now I realize that it’s a part of me that I think is good and I like it. I don’t know for what reason I do it, but I am comfortable in knowing that it’s okay. If anything, doing it will bring words like the above to mind and I’ll have the opportunity to think about them.

I’ve come to know my faith as my own, private, life preserver.  I would not be able to get up in the morning if I didn’t have it.  Faith keeps me out of the victim mindset.  My faith is believing that we are part of a bigger picture than we could ever imagine and whatever course of events I live through, is part of that, too.  I have faith that my life means something in the grand scheme of things.

What are we actually looking for when we think of the Life after Death?  What is so important that we feel that we must secure our passage now?  I it’s different for everyone, but I have these visions of crossing over into another, totally different form of life.  I like to compare it to the birth of a baby.  That baby, who only knows the womb as it’s world for nine months, who, all of a sudden must cross over into a totally alien world.  Chaotic world.  I read somewhere that when we die, it’s much of the same.  We are afraid because, though the concept of going to heaven is desirable, it’s the unknown.  It’s our nature to be afraid of the unknown.  We hesitate, we fret over it, we don’t want to look, we cringe.  Then when we are there, we slowly get used to it and we adjust… or that baby did when it was born.  I imagine that heaven is warm and fuzzy, but I am still afraid in many ways.

First of all, am I destined for heaven at all?  Maybe I will be heading for that “other” place.  Maybe that is it.  Maybe I am not confident that I am going to heaven, and anticipating being re-routed at the last minute when I get to the pearly gates and I am judged.  Can anyone be certain of where they will end up?  Is it too conceited, or too presumptuous of one to believe they are definitely going to heaven; or is that a good, and positive thing?  To be confident that you were such a great Christian that heaven was inevidible.
Maybe we are all headed towards a new, different world and our place in it is dictated by the quality of our lives here, on earth.

What do you believe?


About dragonmommie

I am a wife and mother of an amazing eight year old boy. When school starts, I don the hat of “advocate”. This is very new to me and so, like everything else in my life right now, a necessary transition. I can see already that I will be honing my communication skills as well as sharpening my assertiveness. I am married to an amazing man, who, spoils me to no end. Not in a material way... NO I'm wrong. When he can, he does spoil me materially as he is well acquainted with my infatuation and love all electronic gadgets. I am a self professed EGG, “Electronic Gadget Groupie.” The most important way he spoils me is with taking over attending to our son's needs. My eye has always been caught by sparkly things, the beautiful, and the unique.

Posted on Tuesday, November 7, 2006 ~, in Faith, Life, Poems & Quotations, Spirituality & Religion, Uncategorized, Words Of Wisdom, Writing. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the ping and for once again sharing your spiritual journey.

    Your questions concerning death and salvation are very provocative. I’ve thought many things through the years and what has remained consistent is my faith that God will never desert me and I will never desert God.

    I currently follow Matthew Fox’s Original Blessing theology, in which God’s words that creation is good precede in Genesis the fall and redemption story in Exodus. I don’t accept the tenant of Original Sin.

    Since I cannot know what it means to die, my focus is on what it means to be fully alive. What are the possibilities of creating the world that God would intend for us here and now?

  2. Thanks for your comment, NH. What state are you in, because NH is also New Hampshire. That would be really cool if it meant both, your blog and state.

    Anyway, I get much of my thoughts on this subject from various beliefs, and one specific article I read about comparing the after life with the birth of a baby. I find it strikingly intriguing… I guess I mean to say that I really LIKE that idea. OH, one place I got this idea was from a child’s book I received when my son was born. It is called, “Angel in the Waters”, and about the fetus’ interaction with it’s guardian angel in the womb. It wonders about where he is going and is a bit afraid and the angel is reassuring him…(sorry about the change of pronouns, but to call a fetus “it” is very distasteful to me and I’m too lazy to go back and change it!) I forget where I read the other article that speaks more about the comparison.

    You know, even though I am Catholic, I wonder at all the changes “man” has made to the bible, yes, the idea of Original Sin might just be manmade just to tether people securely in the fold by making them believe that they are doomed to hell if they do not depend on the “institution” of the church, thereby, securing the power of church officials.

  3. Hiya Dragonmommie,

    I am in NC, in the Blue Ridge mountains, so naturalhigh refers to my intense love of nature and living at a high elevation… I also kinda stole it from a tee shirt my daughter wears that has a hot air balloon on it (I hope the hope the hot air analogy doesn’t represent my writings…smile…)

    The doctrine of Original Sin was created by Augustine. It is not original Christian doctrine. Original Blessing, now adopted by many churches (but probably few catholic churches) makes sense to me. As I walk daily with the Divine I am aware of a profoundly loving and life affirming presence. I am aware of Divine love, and Divine blessing. But, as in all things theological, there is no way to prove anyone’s theories, so all I can truthfully say is that it makes sense to me.

  4. Ah, put a “Y” between NC and you’ve got NYC, New York City, my birth place…. well, Brooklyn, to be exact, but it’s still considered NYC.

    You crack me up! HOT AIR…. we all seem to have it in abundance here, but that is okay! Your hot air is, at least, pollution free!

  5. Hi D.M. 🙂

    As a Christian with a twist myself, here’s the litmus test I now pass EVERY belief through:

    What would LOVE do?

    I cannot fathom, even in my miniscule understanding as a human parent EVER damning a child of mine to eternal damnation because they didn’t walk in all of the light that was available to them. Whenever we ‘sin’, isn’t it simply something done through a lack of eternal perspective and understanding?

    The Godd I believe in IS the energy of Love. I think we might all be surprised about what we’ll experience when we lay these bodies down.


  6. Grace– I just had to get this quote for you:
    Matthew 18:6:
    6″But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
    From your comment:
    “Whenever we ’sin’, isn’t it simply something done through a lack of eternal perspective and understanding?”

    Not necessarily for everyone. Sometimes people “know” what is right and wrong, yet choose to sin anyway. God gave us free will. I think THAT is when we actually sin… when we know better. If we do not know, then we cannot sin. Just like in the Garden of Eden… Adam and Eve presumably sinned AFTER they ate of the Tree of Knowledge.
    Was the sin their nakedness? I really don’t know, but the passage says that after they took from the apple, they “saw that they were naked” and tried to hide themselves. So if that is meant to be taken literally or figuratively, I don’t know.

    A child is the most innocent being that I can think of. As they grow, they acquire knowledge, but still, they need to be taught by someone if it’s good or not. As we gain more experience with this added learned knowledge, we can feel it on the inside. (only because I can’t spell conscious)

  7. Unless Original Sin is part of our DNA…. Anyone care to comment on that?

  8. A child is not innocent. I know better. The most cruelty I have experienced was from children, when I was myself a kid. Kids can be really cruel, and they know that they are cruel. The root of sin, if sin exists, is part of our DNA, yes. Although, evil-ness is always in the interaction, not in people per say. You know René Girard ? Good reading there. He’s a catholic guy (btw). I am out of here. 🙂 x0x

  9. Hi, DM!

    I understand what you’re saying. We do have freewill and, yes, we do occasionally make decisions knowingly that are “Sinful”. The original transliteration of that word, sin, from the original language means “miss the mark”. We ALL miss the mark, knowingly and unknowingly. And it would seem to me that those times when we knowingly do something wrong – maybe even evil – are times when we are not thinking with our Christed mind – our RIGHT minds – but with our natural mind. A way of thinking that is subject to all the tweaks and twists and misinformation that our experiences, environment, culture and pre-deposition can render.

    It seems to me that the choices we make have consequences, surely. But in the total evolution of an eternal spirit, I cannot fathom that a decision made – even purposely – from this darkened understanding in one lifetime would bring eternal damnation from a “loving” Creator. Sure, we will incure the effects – we will reap what we sow But I believe that each lifetime (and I do believe in reincarnation), we are given progressive opportunities to reach for choices from that Higher perspective.

    As Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

    I believe this is the case for every person who makes a wrong choice. They ‘know not what they do”, because their understanding isn’t illuminated.

    I do not believe in original sin: The concept that we are born sinful. I believe we are born human, with divine natures infused with the quality of God. These divine natures come to experience the physical realm, in the context of time and space, through birth.

    Life is a classroom – and I don’t believe the Teacher kicks us out of class permanently. I believe that Love always prevails.

  10. Hey Chill…

    Believe me when I tell you that I have experience the same cruelness from children when I was a kid. I was the victim all through grade school, at school and at home, on our block. I had a passive, shy, introverted personality; and kids can smell fear like animals can. They are made up of raw materials that are in the process of being moulded into who they are to become. They are influenced by a myriad of factors coming from family, mostly their parents. Remember parents set the example and kids pick up on everything. If a parent deals with anger by lashing out, so shall that child do the same thing with his peers. Sometimes a child is never taught how to share and becomes very selfish…. so many, so many things.

    But the children I was talking about, are literally babies, who are blank slates when they come into this world. Sure, they have certain things encoded into their makeup; but those are only tendencies, like disposition and the foundation of their budding personality. These tendencies can either be indulged or, if trained right, the child can overcome those tendencies and learn positive behavior.

    Children have an insatiable curiosity and need to learn and experience the world around them. How they are initiated into that world affects them for life.

  11. Oh, can I tell you that I didn’t let go of my hurt, anger and resentment until way after, in my thirties. When I got to talk to a guy that was in my class and he didn’t even REMEMBER what he had done to me as a kid. I mean, this was 8 long years of being in the same class with the same kids. I realized that they had just gone on with their merry lives; and their shananigans and cruelty did not even register 1/2 of a point in their brains. That was when I had to finally let it go because I let it affect me for my whole life and they weren’t affected at all. It still blows my mind when I think about it, but at least I am free from the negativity that was weighing me down.

    Peace, pax, paz….. 🙂

  12. Thanks for the great comment, Grace.

    I believe that if we knowingly do something wrong, it’s a sin, because we “know”… now, mind you, whatever a “sin” is. I could knowingly go through the rest of my life doing bad things or evil, because I am “missing the mark”. Now what happens to me when it’s time to be judged? Do I say that I was just missing the mark? “Missing the mark” sounds as if sinning is not so bad… or that we are not really responsible for our actions.

    We were put here intentionally without our Christed mind, I think. It has to be for a reason. What do you think the reason is? I really don’t know. I am thinking to be tested… but putting us here fragmented like that is placing us at a disadvantage… a disadvantage very severe because we don’t remember with our Christed mind. The natural mind is always in control because something was taken away from us that made us celestial. Our bodies are made of dust, and until they return to that state, that is all we will know. Anything else, we are sort of insecure about because we really don’t know for sure… I’ll explain. Like, I feel like I “know” when I feel the Spirit coming upon me. From childhood, I’ve had a certain feeling that, now as an adult, I’ve some to know as being inspired by the Spirit. But I am so isolated, deprived of my natural, celestial state, deprived of communing with my brother and sister souls out there. I am left alone to decipher illusive feelings and thoughts without a point of reference. I come to realize that I really don’t know anything. I flounder for some scrap of “knowing for sure”. So, it’s my faith that keeps me floating with my head barely above water.

    “It seems to me that the choices we make have consequences, surely. But in the total evolution of an eternal spirit, I cannot fathom that a decision made – even purposely – from this darkened understanding in one lifetime would bring eternal damnation from a “loving” Creator.”

    I like this thought, Grace. Very beautifully expressed. Sometimes I wonder about reincarnation, too… if at the end of “this” time, we might be reincarnated into something else (by God, of course). The loophole in all this posturing is that we really do not know for sure what God’s plan is. That’s the most ironic thing, because reincarnation might surely be part of God’s plan. I’ve read some books on Hebrew mysticism and they believe in reincarnation of the soul. Of course it makes sense, too. We cannot possibly evolve into a being 100% worthy of entering into heaven or seeing the face of God in one lifetime. I am wondering how many generations of lifetimes are left to human kind to evolve into the perfect higher form worthy of heaven.

    “They ‘know not what they do”, because their understanding isn’t illuminated.”

    Even though I agree here, I am thinking of the fallen angels. They sinned, yet supposedly they had illuminated understanding. I do believe that there is the possibility of being kicked out of the classroom, but only at the end of all our chances to make it right. There IS the understanding that sooner or later there will be an end to the classroom phase of life and will have to either make the grade or flunk out.

    Bookie Drake is sick today with a cold and cough. He’ll be okay, he’s just very needy right now.

  13. ((( DM ))) One of the scariest things I did when I walked away from fundamentalist Christianity was give myself permission to investigate some things that just didn’t add up (to me, personally) in traditional Christian teaching. SCARY, DM, because I once believed just like you. In fact, I was a Bible teacher, headed up prayer and food ministries, and even directed the Women’s Ministry at the last church I was a member of.

    Topics like: Reincarnation. Hell. Judgement. Fallen Angels. Sin……All of these topics have been under my personal investigation for several years now.

    I believe the Bible to be a highly manipulated book now. There are reams and reams of material out there – texts written at the same time – that were left out. Translations have screwed things up. But maybe, even more importantly to me, it seems as if the Words given by the Prince of PEACE somehow were used to become a doctrine of fear and control.

    I’m not saying I’m right 🙂 But I am proposing that there is more out there to understanding these relevant questions.

    For example, there is the proposition of the existance of levels or dmensions of spiritual ‘domains’ – with the idea that demons and such are present in a lower level, but not an upper one.

    Wonder, Dragonmommie, wonder if we are born KNOWING rather than not-knowing…and that life is a process of forgetting, then rediscovering our divine nature? Wonder if we are born with the Christmind…the pure Essence of Love and Light….and, through our experiences, environment, etc., things happen that begin blinding us to ourselves?

    Ever hear a little child say something profoundly wise, or spiritually discerning? Perhaps they claim to see an angel, or that God spoke to them.
    I believe they are telling the truth, these little ones. They haven’t YET been clouded. They still are connected. They haven’t forgotten Who They Are or Where They Came from…yet 😉

    Wonder if all the seperation was just an illusion?


  14. Hope your baby feels better SOON!!!

  15. Grace… You are amazing. I try to carry an open mind, even though I am a Catholic. I try to focus strictly on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit… but I believe that possibilities abound for all of the topics you cite in your previous comment.

    I know that there are things that don’t add up, I know that the bible is pretty much just an instrument for the people in power to keep their power. I know that you really don’t need the institution of the church to have a relationship with God and THAT is what they are trying to hide to keep their power. Why else would they decree it be illegal for a lay person to read the bible way back when (you probably know). Why else would they decree that the mass be said in Latin… pretty much a dead language… again you would know the time frame of that. Ugh, please… What about the dreaded “I” word, I-N-Q-U-I-S-I-T-I-O-N. I’ve read some of the Gnostic stuff and about Mary Magdalene… geez that could be true, as well. Please don’t get me started. I am trying to focus on me and God…. But I love these discussions! I have a feeling that I would like to know what you know, already. You are definitely on to something.

    I went to catholic grade school and I can remember the religion class. Practically just read to us from the book. Nobody had intelligent answers to my questions. Nuns, priests, all pretty much brushed me off with a perfunctory answer, like, “Because the pope says.” This is why I did not form into a practicing catholic from a young age. Later on, I started reading about other religions and practices and there is a lot to be said for them. I did see a correlation between them and Jesus, so I stayed with what I knew. I don’t believe that if you are not catholic, you will go to hell. If I remember correctly, there are even writings that place Jesus in America, China, places all over the world around the time of his life; so who’s to say that He didn’t appear to other peoples?

    “Wonder, Dragonmommie, wonder if we are born KNOWING rather than not-knowing…and that life is a process of forgetting, then rediscovering our divine nature? Wonder if we are born with the Christmind…the pure Essence of Love and Light….and, through our experiences, environment, etc., things happen that begin blinding us to ourselves?”

    I REALLY like this concept, Grace. We are going backward…. But my question is “why” do we forget just to try and remember again? I do believe that babies are born with memories of their celestial life, their souls. I think it was something from the Kabbalah that said that everyone is supposed to have a certain goal for each life they live. Souls agree to help each other out during their journeys and are born, with everything predetermined and they actually plan it out or know about it before they are born, but they need to forget for it to play out. This might account for that feeling of de-ja-vu we sometimes have. Yes, I can believe that our experiences, environment, etc., contaminate us further and cause us to forget. Maybe Jesus was such an advanced soul on earth that he didn’t forget.

    This reminds me of a book, “Angel in the Waters”. It’s a child’s book that talks about the fetus knowing his guardian angel in the womb…. But then, I think I’ve already wrote about it…

    You, Grace, have lots to say and I hope to be reading more from you on this. Maybe you can write about these things on your blog… or have you already!

    Gabriel is the same, runny nose, cough.

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