When Faith in Everything is Tested

All my life I have had a belief that there is a God. I’ve believed that people were generally good at heart and I’ve also believed in treating people the way that I wanted to be treated. This virus that has taken over our world has created anger, hostility to one another, attacks on social media and more frustration than anything I’ve ever experienced. Not even road rage can hold a candle to some of the behavior that I’ve seen exhibited. Some people do not believe that this virus is as bad as it’s being made out to be. They are angry because they are having to wear masks and other articles that make them feel that their rights are infringed on.

Over the last few months I’ve seen the worst and best in people all at the same time. When we were all cooped up for an extended period of time, every little thing was grating on all of our nerves. Grocery stores were open for a limited amount of time and other stores were forced to remain closed. About the only way that people could do anything was to order online and that was a great option for those who had internet capability but not for those who weren’t able to acquire any internet availability.

Crimes and looting were escalating. Racial divisions were at an all time high. There was a lot of anger and hostility that was getting worse by the day. In many ways, some of the frustration and anger is lingering. There is a racial unrest that doesn’t appear to be subsiding. If anything, it’s getting worse. Watching the presidential debate on Monday night was a hot mess. If we all wanted to watch a sparring match that could rival the WWE, all we had to do was wait for the body slams because the verbal sparring was enough to make everyone either disgusted or laugh with the irony.

Our world is not a bad place. The people in it are mostly good souls. There will always be those who make us question their motives but a vast majority of folks just want a better and safer world for themselves and their kids, along with future generations. We’re never going to get there if a line of respect isn’t drawn for one another.

Yesterday, I was driving to meet a friend for dinner. I had another vehicle in the opposite lane that decided since they were in an SUV, and I was in a little vehicle, that they could run over me. When I honked to let them know I was currently in that lane, they shot me the bird and acted as if I was the one at fault. The only thing I was guilty of was being in their way. I wasn’t going slow. I was doing what I was supposed to do. There was no call for flipping me off. I’d already had a rough day. What made me think that this was just par for the course was the fact that all of our tempers are running shorter than they used to. Parents have been having to home school their children instead of being able to send them to school and that’s meant the parents have had to work and become teachers all at the same time. It has stretched millions of people thin. If nothing else, I think there’s been a new appreciation for the teachers in the school systems because so many of them have patience but even teachers are being stretched in capacities unlike anything the world has ever seen. Their workload has since double or tripled depending on the courses. It’s been a very challenging set of months and while it does appear to be getting better, one never knows what the future truly brings.

Churches have had to go to a virtual experience. Many of them have had to livestream and learn as they go. Businesses have had to stretch themselves to accommodate customers and clients so that they can conform to the standards that the pandemic has created. The elderly have had to be kept away from family and friends so that their immune systems were not in as much risk. Sometimes it seems that there’s no end in sight.

For many people, faith has done one of two things. It’s either been increased or people have just given up faith altogether. I choose to believe that it’s increased. There are times that I’ve questioned this because of behaviors that I’ve seen but communities are banding together to be there for one another in ways that are unprecedented. Food pantries are collecting more than ever because the need is greater than it’s ever been.

As everything has been reopening, there’s been a sense of relief in the air. It does help to restore my faith to see things coming back to life. I think it’s worth noting that doubts, changes, and sufferings are all intertwined with wrestling with faith. I can’t speak for anyone else but I can say that with all the experiences that we’ve endured, there is no perfect world where doubts don’t exist at some point. The world constantly changes and evolves. My hope for everyone is that during all of the trials and tribulations that we are all experiencing that we can find our faith in order to get us through difficult times. It doesn’t matter what you believe in. I choose to believe in God but there are many who don’t. That’s okay. We all have to find things to bring us peace.

What I also hope is that we can find a balance with each other and exhibit a higher tolerance for differences of opinions. The reason I detest politics is because it brings out the worst in people. Each side thinks they are right and there’s very little listening that occurs. Instead it’s arguing and bickering about topics that affect various people and unless you are among those affected, you can’t begin to understand the need. Politicians have mostly lost touch with their constituents. They’ve forgotten why they were put in office and often lay the groundwork for more problems without thinking through the ramifications of their decisions.

As the seasons become colder, I hope that we can all stay warm, not lack for food, shelter or any of the necessities. I would love to see people continue to work together to build a better future and restore much of the faith that has been lost along the way.

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