Saturday, December 20, 2008

Not Being "of All Men Most Miserable"

I like to think of faith as the motivation behind our actions - the hope that drives us to do things that otherwise might be illogical or indefensible. When someone asks about why faith is important, I share something like the following:

Faith is critical, because we act according to our beliefs and hopes - and many of our actions are based on the belief (hope) that they will be worth it somehow, even as we can't see exactly how they will be worth it. We can't see the end, but we believe (hope) it will be worth taking action now. Take away the basic concept of faith (removing the religious connotations), and you essentially destroy the motivation for selflessness and sacrifice and service - and society, to a large degree, hinges substantially on selflessness.
On (this) hang all the law and the prophets” was said about love, but underlying love is the asusmption (the faith) that love is a good thing - that acting and sacrificing because of love is worth it in the end. Not seeing the end, that belief is faith.

For example, I know we never would have taken in troubled kids if we didn’t believe our efforts would help them (or, at least, one of them) somehow, somewhere, sometime - since we experienced difficulty and pain along the way. Without that “faith” (the hope in something we couldn't see), those kids still would be living in their own private Hell.

Faith, at its most basic level, has to exist in this world, imo, or life simply isn’t worth living. Those who feel life simply isn’t worth the end result (who have no faith/hope in the outcome, whatever that might be) “are of all (wo)men most miserable”.


Unknown said...

You take in troubled kids?

We're about to adopt siblings from a 3rd world country. I'm scared... but I know it's what we're supposed to do. I might need some commiseration/advice giving, though, once we bring them home... I've read lots of books and gone to lots of classes, but still feel like I have no idea what to expect.

Papa D said...

NSG, I probably should clarify. We have six kids, and they have lots of friends. Over the years, we have opened our house to those who are having serious problems at home - or who have been kicked out of their own houses by their parents. We also have helped raise one young man with a troubled past whose grandmother couldn't take care of him any more, and have housed a three-generational family of four in our basement for a few months while they got back on their feet after leaving an abusive situation.

I would be more than happy to give you whatever advice I can. It can be very difficult, but it also can be very rewarding.