Faith When Times Are Hard

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kyle_ssi_006Today I had the privilege of speaking once again at Tybee Church. For those of you who are not familiar, this church’s slogan is “T-shirts and flip flops are welcome!” and

It is in a bar.

Of course, the bar doesn’t open until after church, but having church in a bar is quite a unique idea and experience. As church founder and prophet Samuel Adams explained to me, “People who won’t go to church, will come here.” He’s right. Every single time I’ve been, the experience has been very fulfilling and heartfelt. These are real “down to earth” folks. They may not all necessarily fit in at most other church’s, but thanks to Sam, now they have a church of their own.

My message today was on “Faith”. I told the crowd that “God is perfect and does not make mistakes.” I told the crowd how easy it is to go along with that idea when things are to my liking. I told the crowd about visiting a very dear friend of mine in the hospital this week, and about how difficult it can be to maintain this idea while seeing someone who is in the kind of shape my friend is in.

But I did maintain my faith, even though I did get depressed for a few days. My friend was in a motorcycle accident and suffered a good deal of broken bones, but worse than that, he is suffering from a brain injury. We weren’t sure he was going to make it. Now, it looks good that he will make it, and we just hope that his brain injuries will heal.

This guy is cut from the best cloth. He has spent a lot of time and effort helping other people. When you are sick, he is always the one who shows up. When I had a hernia surgery a few years ago, he came and drove me home and made sure everything was  alright. (my wife’s car is of the “compact” variety and his truck was much easier to get me in to and out of)
I’ve seen him help lots of other people too.

Not only that, but he and I have really had to talk things out on more than one occasion. I mean really talk things out. We have agreed, disagreed, then agreed to disagree, but we still love each other anyway.

It was crushing to see him in this condition.

When I left the hospital I had to remind my self that there are many many people in many many hospitals. People of all ages, with all kinds of disease and ailments. This kind of stuff is all around us all the time, and it isn’t just my friend. I had to remind my self that incidents like this are just as much a part of life as any other part. Then I had to remind my self that “All things are in Divine Order”. and I truly do believe that, even though I sure wish things could be in some other order sometimes.

I don’t back down from what I know, and that is that God is in each of us. God is in everything. God made everything. I remember my friend David looking at me once when I was grieving the death of a loved one and him saying, “I’m sorry kid, but it’s necessary.” The Buddha taught us that all things in the Universe, including us, are impermanent. We are each here right now, but we will not always be here.

Last but not least, I know that God knows some things that I don’t know. That is what “Faith” is to me; not “believing”, but KNOWING that all is in Divine Order. This is why my life is so much easier and better than it used to be. This is why I can deal with life in ways that I could not in the past.

“Thy will be done, not mine.”

 

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