Giving Away What Really Matters

In my last post I wrote about the difficulties associated with journeying through the darkness to find those things that give life and those things that matter most to us. When we truly discover those things, however, we will still question ourselves. We will quickly look for certainty. Is this who I really am? Is this what I’m really supposed to do?

Faith, is about giving up certainty.

I meet so many people who are looking for work or are unhappy in their current job and just want to follow their dreams and passions. In fact, I go to bed at night thinking about these folks and praying for them. When I wake up in the morning I often ask myself, am I doing enough to help them? But then I doubt. I doubt that there’s anything this terribly flawed pastor, husband and father can do to help others. There’s not enough opportunities out there, not enough time, not enough money. There’s jobs but not the “right” jobs.

Faith, is about giving up certainty.

And then there are the folks who aren’t working, on purpose. Well, sort of. They’ve left corporate jobs, jobs that allowed them to sock away enough savings that, just when those jobs had sucked the last bit of life out of them, they were able to walk away and spend a year or two following opportunities they were passionate about. Yet many of those opportunities don’t exist, they must be created, they must be fought for because our own minds and our world will fight against them. It’s hard to push forward when you start to doubt because you’ve heard “that will never work,” for what seems like the ten-millionth time.

Faith, is about giving up certainty.

Traditionally, the Gospel story that we encounter the week after Easter is the story of “doubting” Thomas. The disciples are huddled away in a room somewhere, heart broken over Jesus’ death and terrified that they may be next. Suddenly, the risen Christ appears to them, only for a few moments, but long enough for their hope to be restored. But everyone wasn’t there. Thomas was out grabbing a bite to eat, or something, and when he returns and hears what should be good news, he’s skeptical. Clearly, his friends are delusional. Thomas must believe without seeing. He must have faith. But he only believes when Jesus reappears, a week later, and Thomas can physically touch him.

Thomas is all of us. We have to see and touch in order to have faith. We have to know something will work, will be successful, profitable or meaningful. We can’t take that first step without certainty.

Faith, is about giving up certainty.

There are days when I’m terrified because I don’t know what’s going to happen a few years down the road or even a few months down the road. I worry about my career, my reputation and I worry about my family more than anything. I want certainty and I want to do whatever is necessary to hedge my bets, to create a safety net and to ensure my future and my family’s well-being in case I fail. I can’t give my time or talents to anyone or anything else because I’m not certain about my own life. Sorry, friends, but you’re on your own.

Okay, so those are my worst days. On my best days I’m that guy who can’t stop thinking about all of those people who just want to follow what they’re passionate about.

The disciples were pursuing what they were passionate about: God’s kingdom made fully known and present on earth; peace, justice and well-being for all of creation. Yet those hopes and dreams were shattered with the death of their leader. It would be faith that would move them forward, faith that is not immune to doubt, but the faith that if we give ourselves away, we will eventually realize the dreams and goals of the kingdom.

Even though Lent is over and we are early into the Easter season, let’s give up one more thing, let’s give up certainty. Let’s have the faith that if we work for the needs of others, that if we help other people follow what they are passionate about, that the rest will be taken care of.

So call that friend, family member or acquaintance and tell them you are here to help. Volunteer at that charity or non-profit that you’ve always been meaning to help with but just couldn’t find the time to (and to read more about the benefits of giving of your time and resources, check this article out),

Give up certainty.

Embrace fatih.

Follow your passion.

Change one life.

Change the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *