Things I Want My Son To Know #3 ~ Have Faith

Have faith. Whether or not you have religion, which I will talk about in a minute, have faith. A spiritual life and a religious life are not the same thing. Believing with your heart that there is something greater than yourself, whatever you call it, means you are not alone when you don’t have people around. It means you don’t have to control everything in the world. In fact, I have come to realize, I have control over just one thing, my behavior. I can’t control my thoughts, dreams, fears, hopes, imaginations. But I can control how I act. I want my son to know that faith has an action component. Having faith means getting up and going to work or school for another day when you think you can’t, unpacking one more box on moving day when you are about to drop, reaching for an f sharp when you have barely ever sung an f, putting one foot in front of the other when there seems no point. The action component to faith is never giving up but allowing faith to carry you when you have nothing left and believing that you will be okay no matter what. It means living in the moment. You can make sensible, logical plans but in the end you have only the now and you can’t control the random part of what life will bring you. You create what you can and then faith has to kick in. I do believe that religion is important, it gives a community, a history, a ritual and a sense of belonging. But whatever you choose about religion, find some faith, find a way to be spiritually centered in your life. Suit up one more day because you are alive, do the job one more day because you can, reach for the f sharp, always.

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One Response to “Things I Want My Son To Know #3 ~ Have Faith”

  1. Joan Burns Says:

    this is such a great column, it made me cry. Because I thought of your life and of mine. I had just finished telling my companion of how much of my life up until now had consisted of willing myself to put one foot in front of the other and go on. I can’t say that I had faith in something greater than myself but I did know that I loved my children desperately, that they kept me alive, and that at core I didn’t want to die so I had to do that. Even my horseback riding was to show myself that I could overcome fear. Did you send this column to your brother? He needs it now.


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