Conversion comes with a great sense of guilt over sin and a wish to make restitution. It is an emotional time during which we take a sudden leap of faith, confess our sins and promise God that we will live a better life. Much as some people fight this leap of acceptance, it is the easy part. The hard part is to maintain faith on a daily basis while facing a world full of hate, crime, disaster and subterfuge.
Jesus said if we had faith the size of a mustard seed, we could move mountains. In the late fifties, early sixties, it became a fad to wear a necklace with a glass ball encasing a mustard seed. For Christians, this had the special meaning invoked by Jesus' words. But how many of us actually believe we can move mountains? Not many!
There is a church this author passed occasionally. One week their notice board said, "Wrinkled from worry? Come in for a faith lift." Of course church is a good place to get filled with faith and the Holy Spirit, but church attendance is not the only answer. We need to pray and read God's word frequently -- daily if possible so that we can maintain a basic trust in God. If we are going to drink from a cup, we must constantly keep it filled.
Some people, even Christians, seem not to want to bother God with their daily trials. They think God is busy with the "important" problems like war and famine, and that we should not bother Him with little things. Others consult him for everything right down to whether they should have peas for dinner.
Have you ever gone to work one day in an outfit you hadn't planned to wear the night before -- one that you just had to wear instead? Then when you got to work half the people in the building had on that color. I used to joke with everyone, "I guess God wanted to see purple today." But is it really a joke?
Have you ever gotten a real craving for a certain food, made an uncommon effort to cook it and then found that many other people cooked the same thing that weekend? Sometime, for the fun of it, ask if they usually go to that kind of effort. My eye opening food is fried chicken. Nobody cooks it quite the way I like it. Many people make good chicken, including KFC, but once in a while I just have to have my own version, no matter how messy it makes my kitchen. Next day at work there will be people all around eating fried chicken from their weekend cooking sprees.
One last example! How many times have you had a sense that you should not take your usual route to work? Ignoring that urge, you plunge right ahead and find yourself embroiled in a traffic jam of major proportions.
This is the kind of daily faith I'm talking about. God will see you safely and happily through the most mundane of daily tasks if you will only open your senses to his suggestion. He doesn't generally strike us blind on the road to Damascus, nor does he usually speak in a loud commanding voice. He rarely lets us see Him through the version of a burning bush. But HE IS THERE guiding us and helping us through this difficult world if we will simply lean back and let him take the lead.
So, don't wait until church on Sunday for your faith connection. Give God a chance in your daily life and He will give you new hope.
As promised, the first two articles, previously printed in Food for the Soul: A Book of Devotional Essays, have been repeated here. The next article being published today has not been in print before now. It is entitled, "This Is My Body".