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    JOHNTJ1   73,547
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And Faith Is The Most Difficult

Monday, February 04, 2013

I sat in church yesterday morning and listened to that beautiful reading from Paul 1st Corinthians Chapter 13. Student of the bible or not you've heard it at weddings and saw it on numerous greeting cards. "Love is patient, love is kind...." it opines. It tells us that if we are eloquent, wise and perceptive to all things in life and speak without love, well, we have nothing. It concludes with the mighty and thunderous line, "In short three things will last, faith, hope and love. Of these three love is the greatest." ( I realize my translation is loose, but you get the point.) From deep inside a quiet voice added "And faith is the most difficult."

I doubt myself a million times per day. Despite all the Divine reassurance available to me I still choose to go my own way and be left to my own devices. There is a proverb that states "Man plans and God laughs." It's as if I reach a point in my day to day life, lift my head skyward to say "Thanks so much. I'll take it from here."

Jesus once said "Blessed are those who cant see and still believe." I rarely count myself in that group. I'm more like Thomas who demanded to see the risen Jesus a sort of ancient "cash on the barrel head."

I monitor my intake, I exercise, I mediate and pray and if, after a prescribed period of time, mostly defined by me, things aren't going according to Hoyle, well its time to bail out. I must be doing something wrong and to trust a deity, a process or a practice may work for everyone else but not for me, thank you very much.

Love is ooey gooey. Faith is hard work. It's tough, it requires attention to detail and that nasty work "discipline." Faith means that no matter which way the wind is blowing you keep walking the same path over and over.

Yeah, faith is the most difficult but sandwiched in between it and love is the little noticed virtue of hope. Each morning I look skyward and I muster enough faith to hope that today is the day I see the path clearer.

I wont quit, nor will I give up. Some days that virtue of faith is like gnawing on a chunk of hard bread. It's cold comfort.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SLIMLEAF 2/4/2013 4:44PM

    I agree with you to a point, John, but not entirely.

You see, I would not say love was ooey gooey at all. I think (and from some measure of experience) that love can be incredibly hard and costly and painful. It can take just as much discipline, determination and perseverence as ever faith can. After all, in 1 Corinthians 13 Paul's description of love is a very tall order to live up to and adds at the end "Love never gives up." What, never?

Love can be an utter delight and make our hearts sing and our feet float off the ground, but it can also break your heart, cause you to lose sleep and give everything you've got.

So perhaps - if you agree - we could sort of call it 'evens' between faith and love?

Now, who wants to speak up for Hope?!

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MARITIMER3 2/4/2013 2:32PM

    We had exactly the same reading yesterday... are you E piscopalian? You're right - both love and faith take a lot of work. But they're both worth it.

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    I have had periods where my situation was so dire that all I could count on was faith. You learn then that God is the one you can truly trust and depend on and that's the way he actually wants it.

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KATHRYN1955 2/4/2013 1:15PM

    Sometimes it is very difficult to know what is our will and what is God's will, especially for us control freaks. We can trick ourselves into thinking life's daily temptations are actually God's plan for us. (After all, it was God who really wanted me to have that 2nd piece of chocolate cake and lie on the couch and watch reruns of MASH!!).
If faith is trusting God's plan for us, that is indeed a very challenging bit of work, something I am sure, I will be wrestling with until I draw my last breath!!
I really don't think we are meant to have all the answers. only that we at least ask the hard questions and share with others in our struggles.
Take care,

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NEEDBU66 2/4/2013 11:56AM

    Oh Lord! I believe! (Help me in my unbelief.)

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ANATASHIKI 2/4/2013 10:19AM

    I think it depends , sometimes the hardest is faith , other times it's love or hope. sometimes I can't see the evidence I need standing under my nose. but every time I'm full of doubts something magical happens and I'm reminded in a gentle way that all is good.

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REGILIEH 2/4/2013 9:52AM

    Your words remind me that in today's world so many seem to have no hope. The sad part is there are so many little children that have no hope so they cannot even come across faith.

You are always thought provoking! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VICKI-BISHOP56 2/4/2013 9:38AM


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SHERIO5 2/4/2013 9:27AM


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DEBRITA01 2/4/2013 9:15AM

    In a world of instant everything it's hard to have faith...we want to see or know now, but I guess that is where trust comes in.

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HDHAWK 2/4/2013 9:08AM

    Very good!

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SHSCHLEIN 2/4/2013 8:50AM

  AMEN!!! (and thank you so much for sharing this!)

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MYOWNHERO 2/4/2013 8:30AM

    You have such a wonderful way with words ♥

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WILSON1926 2/4/2013 8:26AM


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