Faith is a many splendored thing.
Faith is hope in action. We hope in something so strongly that it becomes faith, and compels us to do something. We go to work because we have faith we'll get paid. We send our kids to school because we have faith they'll learn.
Faith can move us towards a goal, but the loss of faith can be debilitating. I've met many who refuse to love again because they've lost faith in love. Some won't pray because they've lost faith in God. Some won't live because they've lost faith in themselves.
The key to understanding faith is to realize that faith is a choice. Rather than waiting for proof that our hopes are valid, we can choose to have faith that they are, and act accordingly.
I think that's one of the reasons I have enjoyed writing and getting to know other writers so much. They hope they can give the characters in their heads life, and so they write. Through hours of typing, editing, then a slew of rejections, writers act on their faith in their stories, their abilities, and their dreams.
Most writers never get published. Their faith is not fueled by a history of successes, or even good odds at success. Their faith is fueled by the hope that they can make a difference, and they choose to act on that hope, in spite of the odds they face.
Of course faith isn't monopolized by writers. Anyone can have faith, if they choose to. It is easy to see in the father that visits his comatose son in the hospital as he whispers their plans for their next family vacation. Or the newly single woman who accepts a date. Or the scientist who dares to look beyond the science. Or the inner-city school teacher who tells her students they can make it, because she believes it.
Faith is a power. Power to turn hope into belief. Power to act. Power to do.
Faith does't always lead to success, however. Some dreams don't come true. Some people don't make it. Some relationships don't last. Sometimes things don't happen they way we hoped they would.
That is when the deeper faith comes in--faith in something bigger than ourselves. It could be love. It could be another person. It, hopefully, is God.
When we have faith in something greater than us, we recognize that there are powers at work in our lives and the world around us that we can't see. And these powers, if we let them, can bring us joy.
For me, I have a hope that God is real. I hope so deeply He is, that I choose to act as though He is. That is how I live my faith. I seek His will in my life. I look for His hand in the world around me. I turn to Him for answers, for comfort and for strength.
And though sometimes I feel like there is a two-way mirror between us, blocking my view of Him, I know He is there, and He sees me. I know He is real.
My faith in God brings me peace and direction. His faith in me gives me courage and motivation. Our combined faith drives me to try new and scary things, seek purpose in hard things, and find joy in life where there might not be otherwise.
Yes, my collective faith drives me to get up in the morning, work and serve all day, and fall asleep each night knowing that, even though I can't see it, tomorrow will come. And that is a very good thing.