Everybody lives by faith
By Robin Thomson . Published 2020-09-08
Here is the next in our series by Robin Thomson, who in this article introduces his series on faith
Everybody lives by faith in something or someone. It could be their investments and the power of the free market. Or their confidence in the state to guide and provide. Or the progress of science and technology to improve our lives. Or their education and employment, their friends and family, or their health and a home to live in…
We find our security and identity in things like these. And they can all contribute to a feeling of stability, a sense that our lives are heading in some kind of direction. We certainly depend on them for many aspects of our lives.
There may also be more – questions like:
Where do we come from and where are our lives going? What is the reason for the immense problems the world is facing – or that we face in our personal lives? What are the solutions, if any? Where can we look for justice or truth ‘in the public square’? Is there any larger purpose to our lives? Where can we find community and love?
Whatever answers we find become part of our faith, our world view.
When I first met my future wife, Shoko, we soon discovered that we had a lot in common with regard to faith. In fact that was the basis of our meeting. We were travelling on a ship that was bound for India, where I was headed, and then on to Japan, where she was returning. On the second day of the voyage two Sri Lankan ladies found that we had both studied theology and decided they should introduce us. Naturally, we talked about faith, and much else besides!
Fifty years later, we found that our common faith had sustained us through over forty five years of marriage; living in twenty three homes in India and the UK (with visits to Japan); through difficult times of separation, burglaries and illness, as well as very good times with family, work and friends.
But when Shoko’s Alzheimer's began to advance we began a slow closing down of our life experiences. What would happen now? Would our faith help us? Could it make sense of this disease – so apparently senseless for us and for thousands of others? Could it give us the strength to get through each day and find hope beyond it? And as I looked back from my perspective (which Shoko could no longer do) and remembered plenty of regrets and failures on my part, along with the good things we had experienced together, would I find the resources to face them?
Questions for faith! In these articles I want to look at the faith that we live by and ask myself and a few friends what contribution our faiths have made to our lives.
Thanks to ronaldo de oliveira and UUnsplash for the photo