What good is faith if it can’t pay the rent? Well…..if life is stretching you way too thin, maybe you shouldn’t be paying the rent at all!
There are times in our life where we get ignored, misunderstood and even rejected by other people. One of the biggest frustrations is when you are putting your heart into something and people either take it for granted or don’t even notice it at all.
If we are to be a light in the world, how do we shine?
In a time when many of the great traditions of faith are starting to look more like superstitious dogma, does faith still have a place in our lives? What about in the things in life that you need most urgently? Can faith pay the rent, get you a job, heal a relationship?
Looking forward to this year and the years ahead, what does the future hold for faith?
Revelations of Science and Rationality have blossomed like crazy over the last few centuries and have come down particularly heavy over the last few decades. The new ways of understanding our world are causing a lot of problems for that Old Time Religion.
The champions of Spirituality (the church, spiritual schools and practices, the Bible and other sacred texts) have got a lot of work on their hands to understand and adapt to the new territory while upholding the truth and revelation of the Spirit
In that context, I take a look at this podcast and outline the main themes that I will be exploring in the year ahead
So… time for a reality check on your faith? How often do your resolutions hold up?
It might be hard to ask ourselves these questions, because we hate the answer we know is sitting right there in front of us. But an honest look at our progress is another step towards building the habits of change in our life so that the spirit has more to work with, more room to play and blossom in our life
If you find that you have made very little progress on some of the resolutions that you have made with yourself (or an important commitment you have made to someone else). Here is what you can do to really make a big step towards creating a habit of change in your life:
Take one thing, one really audacious thing—so basically, imagine now, towards the end of the year, a major change that you would like to have in your life. It might not be major but it is something that you really, really, long for. It might be something that you’ve pushed aside in the past or given up, or something that seems really exciting right now. If there is a lot of charge (anticipation, longing, hope) and maybe a little terror, those are good indicators that you are on the right track.
Clear everything else off the to-do list figure out what it takes to do this one thing. Sure, there are things that you HAVE to do in order to pay the bills and maintain healthy relationships. As much as possible, cut back on the nice-to-haves in these areas and prioritize THIS ONE THING as the most important thing in your life. This forces you to pick the thing that actually seems worth doing. We have a lot of fantasies about life but forcing yourself to choose JUST THIS ONE THING will hone and cut away a lot of the BS and get you down to the thing that you desire the most. Thus, it probably has a lot of positive possibility in your life.
Next, look at THIS ONE THING and do just a little bit of internal research…spend ten fifteen minutes and explore the following two questions: “Why do I want this?” and “What affect will this have in my life when it is complete?”
Now spend another fifteen or twenty minutes and find the ways this is already happening in your life. This might be a stretch because often we think that the things we want most are outside of our life. But really, for the most part, the seeds of that potential are already in our life otherwise, it would be difficult for us to imagine in the first place. It might be really small, but find that spark, that seed of potential that already exists and start from there.
Now, most importantly, figure out the next immediate step that will build off of what you already have and get you moving. Make this step completely concrete, so obvious that you want to start on it right away. If the step will take less than two minutes, just do it right now…if it is something that will take a little longer, schedule it at the next time that makes sense. Avoid tasks that are vague “like call John” and choose tasks that are clear “Call John @ 123-123-4567 to get his advice on the best kettle-bell trainers in town”
Repeat this step over and over and over and over and over and over. Take small, steady steps towards that wild goal.
And to really, really strap yourself in and make this change stick, the best thing to do is to involve other people in helping you meet your goal. If you have somebody that you are close with and that you meet with or talk with on a regular basis or whatever, I would just share what you want to be doing in your life and let them know that this is really important to you. You want people that are rooting for you. You want people that believe that you can do it, and that are going to ask you how it is going, and when you are frustrated and not doing so well at it, that they are just going to support you, and encourage you, and remind you that you are capable of doing this thing.
Even for the smallest goals it is helpful to articulate them to people that you love and trust, so they can have your back in the things that matter most.
If your passed resolutions have failed, this may just be the year is that you avoid the empty resolution rituals and begin living a life of authentic and beautiful faith.