Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things unseen.
Today, I am grateful for the contemplative life that has allowed me to not only embrace the invitation to faith, but has given me more opportunities than I can list to see the evidence of faith born out. This morning, I received a message from our accountant that is an answer to our prayers and evidence of the faith and trust that I have tried to embrace and have offered as solace to other worried parties. As the market for fine art (my husband’s business http://www.scotschmidt.net) changes, the hope that I have clung to is that the Divine will provide for all of our needs. The message from our accountant confirmed this hope was being made real.
In the Authentic Freedom program that I have developed and share with interested students, one of the truths that we are invited to embrace is that God will provide for all of our needs abundantly. In our materialistic world where millions of people go without basic food, clothing or shelter, this is a difficult truth to embrace. The challenge is to realize that it is not our external needs that are the focus of this truth – put our need to remember our origin as men and women of peace, love and joy. This truth invites us to stand in our trust in the Divine regardless of what seems to be happening in our external circumstances. On a practical level, embracing this truth allows us to face all of our life’s challenges from a place of contentment and trust.
As we have witnessed the changes in the fine arts industry, the natural human response is fear. How will we pay our bills? How will we handle the repairs to our house that need to be made? How will we provide for our children’s education, our retirement, etc. etc. etc. The temptation is to make decisions based in fear that may not be supportive of where we know we are called to share our gifts in the world. (ie: should I go get a job at WalMart?) The contemplative life invites us to make decisions from a much different place.
Standing in the place of blind faith and trust are certainly counter-cultural and often defies Western logic. How can you trust that your needs will be met when the regular source of income is declining and there are no dramatic promises on the horizon? This is where contemplation proves to be an invaluable commodity.
Meditation and contemplation allow us to depart from the place of our human fears to rest in the peace of God. Resting in this peace allows us to see the world, not through the eyes of our ego or our fears, but through the eyes of God. Rather than running around like a chicken with our heads cut off, relentlessly searching for that next dollar, we allow ourselves to be guided by the hand of the Divine. Resting in this place, we know without a doubt when and if action needs to be taken and what that action might be. Faith allows us to trust in the Divine and let go of our human temptation to induge fear and worry and know that the solution to our problem is right before us, if we would only take the time to listen and believe. Sometimes the answer to that faith is peace in the midst of unspeakable tragedy, and sometimes it is the material solution to an otherwise challenging situation. Regardless of the outcome, without faith and trust we would never be open to seeing the answers right before our eyes.