Every birthday, I will write what the previous 365 days have taught me. I posted my first 28 lessons yesterday and now…#29.
Elevate your faith above your circumstances.
This past year has taught me about the correlation (or lack thereof) between faith and circumstances.
Basically, coming to terms with your sure faith of a bright future and your seemingly crappy life.
I went from Hawaii to Ukraine.
I went from elated when I found out my brother’s wife was pregnant to depressed when my little cousin passed away.
I went from collapsing on the floor with chest pains to almost the healthiest I’ve been in my life.
But life is like that, I guess.
Good things happen.
Bad things happen.
Life is circumstantial…
But truth is not.
Truth is found somewhere floating right above the circumstances of life.
And there is where we can find faith. Constant. Strong. Eternal.
What is faith? It is a belief in something that is not seen, which is true.
That is the key to remaining true even when the circumstances of life are less or more than desirable.
Our faith must remain independent of our life circumstances.
Whether or not things work out in this life according to our wills, we must have faith that, if we are doing all we can, everything will work out according to God’s will—a will that is so much better than ours could ever be.
We will dream and struggle and fight and pray and believe that we will get somewhere…we may get there—or we may not. Now, don’t take this as permission to accept failure before you’ve exhausted your resources or as justification to give up on faith, but our faith must rise above the worldly ‘stuff’ of life.
But hey, don’t take my word for it. I mean, I really haven’t been through much, comparatively. Maybe you can read a word from Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way” (Man’s Search for Meaning—best non-religious book in the world)
Because sometimes, life will turn out like Viktor Frankl, survived the Holocaust; and sometimes we will end up like one of the other 6 million Jews who tragically did not.
Sometimes life will be like Daniel, saved from the den of lions; and other times like Abinadi, martyred.
Sometimes life will be like the Children of Israel, saved by a parted Red Sea; and other times like the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, slaughtered.
Sometimes life will be like Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, saved from flames; and other times like the believers in Alma 14, burned.
Sometimes life will be like my father, married with kids by 29; and other times like…well, like other people.
Sometimes life will work out; and other times not.
And that doesn’t mean that you are a good person if it works according to your plans or a bad person if it doesn’t.
Faith is truth and eternal.
Life is circumstance and temporary.
So work as if you’ll get everywhere you’ll ever dream—then be grateful for where you end up, knowing it is where you need to be and only by taking the path to where you thought you were going, would you have ended up where you needed to be.
We choose our dreams, we choose how smart we work, we choose how hard we work and then…we choose to be happy with the destination…and that takes lofty faith, true faith.