Monday, February 18, 2013

Finding Faith

I suppose a confession is in order. Regarding my faith in God’s ability to heal, I’ve been only half in. The time I’ve spent praying (and asking for your prayers as well) has been, for all means and purposes, constant. For a year and a half now, I’ve been praying for God to remove all forms of cancer from my body. And I have believed it was possible, just not certain. A lifetime spent with logic and science (which I am not renouncing), has left little room for me to learn and grow in spiritual matters, especially when it comes to faith in Gods ability or likelihood of intervening directly in my life to make a change in the way things were proceeding, naturally. A creature of constant prayer and vigil, I have prayed my whole life. I’ve done this mainly because my issues were to great not too, and the act was worth the energy spend, if there was even a chance God would intervene. With faith of this kind, it seems likely that my vespers left my month – left my heart and vanished into the atmospheric chaos where they belonged. Surprisingly however, most of my prayers were answered in spite of my flimsy notion of faith, this, however, the probable result of a friend or family member who was also praying my prayer with the proper amount of faith. While I have always been a Christian, having been saved at the age of eleven, I have not grown in my relationship with God at any semblance of acceleration. At least, not until now. Through various channels in my life, mainly through bicycling, and the Christians that inhabit this sport in my area, God has placed in my life mentors who are now teaching me how to be a more devout Christian, what that means, and how to extract Gods Will and allow Him to work in my life. My life’s pursuits have been mainly scientific; physics, geology, mathematics and the natural world… what I have always viewed as Gods Creation. Science and Christianity are not exclusive, and because of some views held by the church condemning the body of scientific knowledge, I have felt unwelcome in the pews and possibly unworthy as well. However, my life study of the natural world has only strengthened my belief in God over the years and I will tell you why. Over the millennia of the collective human pursuit of scientific knowledge, modern science has arrived at some very bazaar mysteries which defy logical explanation, especially in the area of quantum physics and mathematics. Not only are we, as a global society of thinkers, pushing back what is known we are now convinced, there are limits on what is actually knowable, that buried deep in the very fabric of matter and energy there are things which ARE NOT KNOWABLE at all. In other words, what we are learning in the modern physical sciences is that nature, at the very deepest level is inherently unknowable. This is not a technology problem. It is not a problem with the size and power of the human brain; it is built into nature itself. Having been more comfortable pursing knowledge in scientific thought, just as I had become disillusioned by the occasional close mindedness of the church, I also became disillusioned by various leading scientists who were equally dogmatic in their philosophies only in reverse. Modern scientists who deny the existence of God, or even a higher power, are, in my opinion, vastly more in error than the religiously close minded. It has not always been easy. Socially, I wasn’t a very good fit in either camp. I was, however, more comfortable in the scientific camp. Fast forward: A year and a half of cancer treatments, and an equal term examining my position, history and hopes for the future, I believe that my notions of faith and spirituality have been underdeveloped and in a perpetual state of adolescence. Through the shared experiences of my fellow Christians, and what they have learned to be the truths of our world, spiritually, I am beginning to understand the true power of the most faithful Christians. This morning, this moment, I stand at a junction – a fork in the road. If I remain in the state of faith that I have had my whole life, believing that God could heal me, but may decide not too (thereby, providing an explanation as to why I did not get well), then I will continue to become more sick, and I will physically parish even while I am spiritually saved. But if I am able to make a transition in my thinking and beliefs – If I come to believe that not only could God heal me and save my life, He will in fact, do so. That is, if I believe He will and I ask Him to. My spiritual mentors state to me, God’s healing is certain provided I ask for it, then truly believe. The scientist in me has prevented me from achieving this perfect notion of faith. I have been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I have been “given” a certain amount of time to live. Radical treatments have saved me already, and provided the possibility for several more years of life – however, those treatments have fallen short of even the statistics of those very same treatments. Pure logic and non-religious thought would indicate, I am physically doomed. And while in recent weeks, I believed I could have a long as five to ten years left of my life (I was never willing to have complete faith in God, that he would safe my life altogether), I know believe that I can return to a normal lifespan, so long as I have faith in this outcome. Ironically, I believe this only now, just a few days after being told the cancer is back, and that, scientifically or medically, my outlook has worsened… through faith my outlook and condition have actually improved. Because the cancer condition has worsened, my faith must necessarily improved, resulting in a much favorable position and outlook. In fact, based on the amount of faith that I have in this outcome, my physical salvation is guaranteed. As I wait for the physical manifestation of this healing, I will feel sick. I will get poor medical results and outlooks and these things may dampen my faith. But I will choose to perceive these things as normal, not in any way proof that God is not going to heal me.

Saturday, February 2, 2013