Faith, the evidence of things unseen.
Life revolves around faith.
Faith in people, faith in things, faith in inanimate objects.
Think about it. Every morning you wake with your alarm, trusting that it will go off as planned. You hit the shower, with faith that there will be hot water. You dress and head out the door relying on your car starting. We rise each day believing the sun will rise also, and set when it is time.
We breathe in and out without pain or great effort.
We have daily routines that we take for granted, because we believe that those things will be there when we need them and that all will be right with our world. It's certainly an element of faith, right? Of course it is very basic, not entirely theological, and certainly a lot of the things we may or may not have faith in are not essential to life... however, our world is revolved around theses things that are honestly out of our control. And our faith in what is "normal" helps us function and survive.
Such basic "faith" is developed when we are infants. Alena is five months and it is already very evident how much she trusts her family. When she is upset, she cries for attention from one of her siblings, Michael, or myself. She loves without reason or proof. This basic faith is not anything she learned in Theology 101 or divulged from extensive and exhaustive Bible study. She trusts because we have given her no reason not to.
Time for a Bible analogy.
Job, a great character of the Old Testament was a blessed and favored man in the eyes of God. He was wealthy, had a large family, and was considered righteous. He believed in God, sacrificed offerings to the Lord, and lived a life, excellent by any standard. In a cosmic conversation between God and Satan (see Job, chapter 1), Satan interjects that the only reason Job has been faithful is because God has given him no reason to feel otherwise. If you are at all familiar with the story, you know that what happens next is ugly and fierce. Job's entire life enters a time of great loss and sadness. He loses his live stock, his servants, his children, his health... he is left empty-handed and in great pain. And we are told that in the face of such pain and suffering that Job, worshipped. Yeh, he worshipped.
What. In. The. World.
My opinion is simple. Faith.
Job had faith that in spite of the horrible circumstances of his life following such loss, that God was still in control. That kind of faith is remarkable and life saving.
In the midst of our recent struggles in the Gaffner household, I found myself questioning God's sovereignty and we were certainly nowhere near righteous or even entirely faithful in our God relationships. And yet our faith, or more accurately MY faith, was challenged. It made me realize how often I have taken my faith for granted, not investing the time or energy that it deserves. It also made me realize how many questions my children must have about "why we believe what we believe". Did you know that 70% of all high school students that were once church-goers, leave the church upon graduation? Why? I believe it is because they haven't defined their faith for themselves. They wake and go about their day, taking for granted the things they claim to believe.
Parents, youth ministers, grand parents... friends. We are missing the mark of true, genuine faith and we are losing a generation not to hypocrisy, blatant sin, or even disbelief... we are losing a generation to ignorance. We have allowed "faith" to be mildly defined and most often not individually understood or personalized. Plain and simple, our kids don't know what they believe.
The solution isn't simple and may require work and dedication.
But our homes have to be about more than just daily routines from cleaning to cooking, homework to bedtimes. Our homes have to become a place of worship. A place where we openly discuss and question our beliefs. A place where we transparently share, discuss, and pray. A place where faith is explored, defined, and accepted.
Home is where the heart is.
And home is definitely where your faith starts.
Stay tuned for some Chaos examples of how we plan to implement these new goals.