Monday, March 19, 2007

Activating Faith

Here’s another question I received:

How do you activate your faith in the face of your fears?

Faith, yes. It’s good to have faith. We used to say in seminary: Faith is for believers, but it isn’t really. We all, actually, have faith. What matters is where we use it.

Faith is a neutral energy, much like electricity. Electricity itself doesn’t care how you use it. You can use it to dry your hair or make it stand on end—the electricity is still the same. This applies to faith as well. You can put your faith in what you choose to fear or you can put your faith in what you choose to foster. The faith itself is neutral.

Faith, in fact, is an action, not a state of being. The activity of faith is trust. So the real question is how do I trust in the face of fear?

I want to answer the question I was asked, which is how I activate my own faith when it’s foundering.

First, I acknowledge to myself that I am misusing and misplacing my faith.

Second, I use a mantra written years ago by a metaphysician. I say and pray over and over again:

God be all me.

Here’s what I mean when I say it:

Divine Spark within myself, whole, perfect, unadulterated, pure spirit
Take over my silly, small, fearful thoughts and ideas of the moment
Let my Spark become a Flame of Wonder in the world
And let me return to gratitude for what is so right now.

To state it biblically would be to quote John the Baptist: He must increase and I must decrease. Of course, he’s talking about Jesus, but I mean the Christed Self within each one of us.

If you want more words, another way would be to pray something like this:

O God, my friend, help me give my ego a well-deserved rest. Let ego release and relax, and let my Spirit take over my life, my thoughts, my words, my deeds. Fear, I bless you and I let you go. Faith is active now, and it acts both to do and to will of God’s good pleasure in me and in my life. So it is, and so it must be. Amen.

Or, here’s a “non-God” prayer that will work:

Ego, my friend, relax. Let go. I choose to see the bigger picture and trust that I will be taken care of.

One of my favorite images for faith is that faith is a muscle. It needs exercise! The next time you are faith-challenged or fear-drowning, go for a walk (take an action) to be reminded that faith is a muscle. When you use it, you get better at it!

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