What struggle has thought me of having faith

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The business builder is sitting in the middle of the row. On both sides are people, neatly dressed. Man with suits and ties, women with heals, skirts, and colorful tops. They are all singing. The business builder is just looking around him. Wondering. Gazing. Taking it all in and trying to sing along. In front of him is a big stage. Two projectors show the lyrics to the song. A man is standing on stage singing the same lyrics in a microphone. All the people are singing of God and his love. The business builder wondered how he ended up here. He had never liked churches. He found them cult-like. The people there felt hypnotized. But now he was there it felt completely different. He couldn’t pinpoint if he liked it or not, but it was a new experience for him.

He remembered going on vacation as a little kid with his family. To countries like Italy and Spain. On almost every corner of the street, there seemed to be a church. A beautifully decorated church with stained glass and painting of Jesus everywhere. A scent of myrrh filled the church. Candles were burning and the wooden benches were scared and empty. Just a hand full of locals sat in them and prayed. Softly moving their heads back and forth as they spoke in their tongue. The business builder didn’t understand their tongue. It was either Spanish, Italian, or Latin he didn’t know.

He also remembers that he would always light a candle on either side of the church. A few dozen candles were already burning. His parents allowed him and his siblings to light one themselves in memory of their lost family members. This to him was a special moment. The rest he found weird. So as they walked through the church he would often start playing with his siblings. Running around, making jokes about the statues and painting. He now knew that this was disrespectful, but he was a kid how could they blame him.

The speakers in the church kept blasting the male’s voice. He was shortly back to the now but soon after found himself back in a church in Spain again. He remembered how he would hide underneath the wooden benches as his sibling tried to find him. His parents were slowly walking around the church as they played. They loved playing hide and seek. He noticed that footsteps were closing in. So he holds his breath, trying to make himself as small as possible so his sibling wouldn’t find him. A head poked underneath the bench. Looking straight at him. A black mustache with a small goatee identified the face of a man. It was not his dad nor his siblings. It was a man that belonged to the church. He spoke in a low and gentle voice. “Boy, would you mind playing outside? These churches are old and will break under the power you young kids hold.” He said after laughing. The business builder was relieved to hear that. He feared that the man would get angry with him.

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He crawled out of his hiding spot and now saw that the man was tall and didn’t have any hair except his mustache and goatee of course. “Sorry sir” He remembered saying. “It’s okay, I ain’t mad at you. God’s house is yours as well, but these buildings are old and the paintings on the walls are fragile, so two young kids playing around could damage the beauty of this church.” The pastor spoke. The pastor was friendly and patient but also had a strong will and energy around him. The businessman remembered that he was both fearful and content at the same time. He understood that playing was allowed but outside. So he stopped, not even having the desire to continue playing. He was impressed by the man and couldn’t stop thinking of him that entire day.

The business builder remembered that day. It didn’t change his view on the church much but it made a lasting impression on him. He was still cynical of the church, but now he found himself in the middle of one. Attending a church service. The pastor now walked on stage and grabbed the business builders’ attention.

As he spoke

All the people in the church went quiet. Some grabbing a sweet just before the pastor started to speak. The man cleared his throat and held a bible in his hand. He looked around in the room as if he was looking for the business builder. He stopped when their eyes met, he gazed at the business builder for a small moment and then started speaking. The business builder was hooked. He listened. Completely forgetting everything around him. He leaned forward. His arms resting on his legs. He didn’t take his gaze off the pastor for a long moment.

The pastor spoke of faith. The pastor spoke of a personal story, a saddening story that had happened to him a few years back. He was ill, incurably ill. He had but a few months to live. The business builder already knew that this story was gonna be one of those miracle stories. He didn’t believe much of those. But for some reason, he was drawn to the storytelling of the pastor. The pastor continued his story. All the time he had been sick, he had prayed. Prayed that God would make this end well, not only for him but for his family. He didn’t ask for good health, all he asked for was a good ending. Whether that be death or life. The business builder was amazed by this strength. If he were in a similar spot he would have prayed for personal health, not caring about anybody else. He was the one sick after all. This made him even more interested in the pastor’s story.

In a few weeks, the symptoms of the pastor started worsening but he kept praying. Kept faith in a good ending. “Faith,” the pastor said slightly louder and with more emphasis than the other words “In Mark 11:22-24 I came across this quote – And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. I kept faith.”

After a month, the pastor was now a few weeks from dying, the symptoms started lessening. After a few weeks, the disease had completely vanished. As quickly as it came, so quickly did it go away again. The business builder rolled his eyes and knew what the next words were gonna be. But he was again shocked. The words were different. They didn’t speak of a miracle, they spoke of a common understanding. “We can all understand that this could be seen as a miracle” the pastor began “but this isn’t a miracle. It is a common understanding of faith. Faith is what got me healed. It was the faith in a good ending, as Jesus said “whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” As did,” the pastor said loudly. “I prayed each day and had faith, not the kind of faith of just hoping it would come true. No, I imagined it, saw it in front of my eyes. How I played with my kids and lived life again. This disease was here to teach me something and faith was my answer. Faith that whatever happened to me had to happen and whatever ending this would bring it would be the right one.”

The businessman had often thought that he couldn’t learn anything from the church but this made him think.

A new venture

The business builder had had struggles to keep faith in his abilities. He was about to start a new business venture. A new business after his last one had failed horribly. He faired that this too would fail and that he wouldn’t make any money. He knew money wasn’t important for a church but money was important to buy food and stay alive. But still, he knew that faith was his answer too. It was his cure as well.

But the pastor kept repeating these words. “Believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” With each repetition he spoke a little softer, making the words slowly sink into the soul of the business builder. The pastor spoke with such strength and calmth that he was drawn to it. He started to realize that faith didn’t only mean believing in something larger than us. It didn’t just mean believing in a God or Allah, or the universe. But that faith in a good ending is what helps us make the right decisions. Faith in God helps us make the right decisions, so does faith in our abilities. It makes us believe in ourselves and the good we can do. That will help to form better decisions.

He knew that if he had faith, visualizing his wishes and results as if they had come true they would happen. He had faith that no matter what would happen with his new business it would be exactly as he needed. If he failed he had learned something profoundly new. If he made his goal he would now understand the true strength of faith. He finally understood why religion was such a remarkable thing in people’s lives. It gave them meaning and courage. Faith that whatever will happen will be the right thing. It was calming and inspiring at the same time. This he had never noticed before.

He for some spiritual reason had more faith in himself and his abilities. He knew that everything would be alright in the end. “Failure, pains, losses, struggles, they are all meant to happen. They are here to test our faith. Both faith in the process of life, ourselves, and the higher power we believe in.” the business builder thought to himself. Now his attention glided back to the moment. Seeing that the pastor had stopped speaking and the music was playing again. There was a wide smile on his face and a profound change in his heart. Now understanding that faith brought him peace.

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Keep faith

Faith in all forms brings meaning to our lives. In the form of a passion, keeping faith in our skills. In the form of a God, keeping faith in the religion. Or in the form of trust, keeping faith in our relationships. Having faith and doing the right thing go hand in hand. Although we can faithfully believe that something will not be alright, it will always be alright in the end. God, Allah, the universe, they all take care of us. All they ask for is a little faith that it will all be alright.

The business builder is was just like me. Skeptical of faith. I still to this day don’t want to follow one particular belief and see it as the one truth. Because as I dive deeper into these faiths I more and more understand how they are similar and teach and practice the same things. Faith is what binds them all. They all have faith in some higher power that will take care of them. Or they believe in themselves and that it will all be alright. Faith my dear reader is most profound and deeply impactful. One more time the quote from mark Mark 11:22-24 “And Jesus answered them, Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Faith is a practice. Visualizing and feeling that you have already received what you asked for. I am practicing this right now. Keeping faith in myself, my skills as a writer, and the stories I have to share. I visualize the outcome and have faith that whatever will happen it will be the right thing. This brings a sense of peace to my heart and soul.

God only asked us to keep faith, for us to enter the kingdom of the heavens. And God is all around us. He is us, as much as the trees. Everything living and being on this earth is God. So maybe he did just mean for us to keep faith in everything. Because God is everything, so we should have faith in everything and everyone that they are good and will be good. Keep faith, it will all be alright.

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