Walking around New York, I often find myself just realizing that, if I didn’t believe, I wouldn’t be able to see God anywhere.
I mean, if I weren’t looking for Him, God seems nowhere.
Sure, I’ll walk past the occasional church that is empty, minus a few fanny-pack-wearing tourists snapping pictures on their iPads.
But, real talk: there just isn’t a lot of God out there to be found in our culture.
There’s just a whole lot of other stuff to occupy our time and our minds: the Olympics, summer blockbusters, the NFL, the latest Kimye/Taylor drama, back to school shopping, the presidential election, you name it – our culture exists in a spiritual wasteland, if I’m being really honest.
And for as incredible as NYC is, truthfully, it exemplifies this hyper godless environment.
But sometimes, when I’m walking along, dodging Pokemon Go players and briefcase-touting-powerwalkers on the sidewalks…
…I sometimes wonder, why do I need faith?
I am not questioning my faith or the existence of God. But I wonder, if I weren’t a Jesus follower, why would I think faith mattered?
What’s the argument for it? Why would I care? What is the case for faith?
Because I look at everything around me, and you know what, I wouldn’t think I was really missing anything if I didn’t believe.
Things are so instantaneous and so immediately gratifying, I would look at faith and think, How painfully archaic. Why not live for the now? I’m only young once, so why drag around the old “ball and chain?” Who wants to just feel guilty and constrained all the time anyway? It doesn’t matter…
Does faith matter?
And the answer to that can be summed up in three little words.
What’s. The. Point?
What’s the point? To life? To my friendships? To my career? To my body? To whatever…
What’s the point?
If you close your eyes and think about the life we’re bombarded with everyday, what do you see?
For me, I see this fast paced, movie-trailer-esk montage of images, narrated by none other than Morgan Freeman.
First there are the “high fashion” images of our society with Victoria’s Secret models and men with chiseled jawlines wearing suits that cost more than a downpayment on a car. Justin Bieber flashes by, peeing in a bucket and riding a segway, waving to his Canadian buddy, Drake.
There’s partying, reality TV and all of its quality family values. Trump’s yelling, Hillary’s barking, and Blair Waldorf is leaning over to whisper the latest gossip to Serena. (#GossipGirl) 😉
Then in my movie trailer depiction of life, there are shots of homeless people, starving children in third world countries, refugees in war torn nations. Images of kids being bullied at school or online. Of violence in our communities. Of maxed out prisons full of human beings with names and faces. Images that shatter your heart into a million tiny pieces.
Cut to my family. My friends. Teachers. The cashier at my grocery store. The kids I nanny for. The cross guard on 6th Avenue. All the people in my life that I come in contact with every day. People with stories and hurts and struggles.
Cut to me.
Open your eyes.
After watching that bombardment of all that life’s throwing at us, what’s the point?
Are we to think that this is it?
Well, okay – thanks, Caralyn, for pointing out all the crap that’s out there. Sure there’s a lot of eFF-ed up stuff, but what does that have to do with faith?
And I think the answer is that, all of those things we’re bombarded with – all of those things in our movie trailer – without faith – without God – we would have to navigate all of that alone.
And I don’t know about you, but frankly, that scares the be-jezzes out of me.
We’re not in this alone. Everything that the world tries to throw at us, that makes us feel as though we don’t measure up — we don’t look a certain way, drive a certain car, own a certain brand, live a certain lifestyle — all those bullshit standards impressed upon us by our cultural movie trailer — there’s more to life than that.
And that’s where faith comes in. That’s where God comes in.
I’m not just living for the here and now. I’m living with my eyes on eternity.
There’s more to life than making money, and getting more “stuff” or going on lavish vacations or having an enviable house or career. There’s something bigger than me that I’m living for.
I’m living for Him.
Because the world can seem like a spiritual wasteland, void of goodness and gentleness and hope. So I want to use my life to be a teeny tiny glimmer of His love and His truth.
Because the world is not godless. He is all around. But it is up to us to choose to look for Him. To choose to see God in the everyday– In the people around us. In the opportunities around us.
That‘s the hope. That’s why faith does matter. Otherwise, the weight of the world would be just too much to bear.
So what’s the point?
Choose it. See it. Claim it. Live it.
“Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1