I stand at the top of my cushy workout mat (it’s decidedly not a yoga mat) and stretch to the sky. A fire engine roars down Flatbush Avenue as I whisk it out of my mind. I close my eyes, breathe in, give thanks, offer prayers to my ancestors (my Zimbabwe-born neighbor hipped me to that one), the health of my family and friends, hope that the girls in Nigeria will be returned, to the people of Nepal, to the men I worked with at the Bowery Mission who deserve a second chance, a request to allow God’s breath to blow through me in whatever way the spirit deems necessary, and hope that today will be a good day.
For now, this is my religion — my faith. Growing up Lutheran, with a mom we affectionately dubbed Kirche Frau, attendance was generally enforced and Sunday school was de rigueur… even if my sister and I used my confirmation necklace as a punk rock medallion when we transformed my brother into Billy Idol.
I always have this nagging feeling my morning ritual isn’t enough, there’s something else. I need to finish reading the bible, or the Tao of something, the books by Thich Nhat Hanh or I don’t know. One of these days….
As the New York Times reported today on the new Pew Research Center study, I’m not alone in my “nothing in particular” religion. My faith might be a little stronger in my work ethic than the power of an unseen force.
Faith is a peculiar thing — it’s trust, despite the absence of proof. It’s bigger than hope, it requires actual belief. I muster a good bit of faith every time the acupuncturist promises to restore my flow through a few well-placed pins. I pray every time I fly. You might find me in a church with my family on Christmas, or singing along, knowing all the words, as my nephew rehearses Godspell.
I do have faith in a power greater than myself. Most days. We all have faith, every time we step out our door.
I have faith. Today will be a good day.
- Renee Dale on faith in boys, bikes and wallpaper.
- Cheri Kroon discovers a path to the ministry.
- Allison Czarnecki finds strength despite her daughter’s mysterious illness.
- Jennifer Hudak lives a dual life of two faiths.
- Our anonymous contributor keeps her Muslim faith private.
- Lauren Young recounts her Jewish divorce.
- And Susan Linney boulders to a sober life.
Keep the faith,