A few thoughts on keeping your faith

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By Bob Mueller

Practice keeping your faith day by day, and one day you will have enough to keep you.

There are three thoughts to keep in mind, which will help us to keep our faith.

The first is, when tempted to give up or lose faith, look back and remember the times you won the victory. Maybe it was some crisis 15 years ago. You did not see how you could go on but you did go on and it worked out all right. You discovered new courage and strength inside you that you did not know you had. We do have unused inner resources. There are friends who help. And somehow we eventually come to believe that no matter what life does to us, we can go on. That belief helps us to keep the faith.

A second help in keeping the faith is not to forget that, though life has a way of pulling us down, there are even stronger forces in life holding us up. Life may hurt us, but even more it aids us.

Some years ago, one of the great sequoia trees in California was cut down. Scientists studied the tree and then told us something of its history. It began as a seedling 271 years before Christ was born; 516 years later it was severely damaged in a forest fire, but nature immediately set to work to repair the damage. Though it was hurt, the tree kept living and growing and a hundred years later the scar caused by the fire was completely covered. In later years, two other fires damaged the tree, but nature worked to heal again and again.

Life has the power to hurt, to hurt deeply; but life also has the power to heal completely. When you are tempted to give up your faith remember that life’s healing power is stronger than its hurting power.

A third fact to remember when you are tempted not to keep faith is to remember some of the great triumphs faith has won for others. Also remember you are made of the same stuff of which they were made. There is something within every person which, if given a chance, will make that person invincible.

Fix in your mind, for example, Mozart. When he was 25, he went to Vienna. There, 10 years later, he died. During those 10 years he wrote his matchless music, which will live forever. One day his publisher said to him harshly, “Write, sir, in a more easy and popular style; or I will neither print your music nor pay you a penny for it.”

Mozart and his wife were so poor that they often had neither food nor fuel in their tiny house. One cold morning that winter a friend who came to visit Mozart found his house entirely without heat and the composer and his wife waltzing to keep warm. In fact, the cold and hunger put him in his grave when he was 35.

It must have been an almost unbearable temptation to him to sacrifice his standards. He might so easily have said, “After all, a man has to eat;” or even more easily said, “I cannot see my wife suffer.” Instead, he said to his publisher, “Then, my good sir, I have only to resign and die of starvation. I cannot write as you demand.” And starve he did; but isn’t the world proud of him? The faith he kept is still keeping him.

And when you are tempted not to keep your faith it will help you to remember that within you is something of what was in Mozart. There is something within every person which, if given a chance, will make that person invincible.

Bob Mueller is Senior Director of Mission & Stewardship at Hosparus. The views expressed in this column are those of the writer.