Expectations and Faith

EER_0771

After seventy-two years of observing the way Faith and Expectation works, I have come to the conclusion that we put way more expectations on our faith than the writers of our scriptures ever intended. The following is something I have been mulling around in my mind for a couple of years. This is the best way I can express what I personally have experienced. You may see it differently and that is OK. To me faith is simple and easy to understand. Many have made it complicated and demanding, filled with unrealistic expectations.

I’ve prayed but had no answers;
Believed in miracles // still waited my turn;
Had faith to move mountains
but the mountains remained;
Read the promises of comfort in times of trouble…
Believed I would find peace in the storm;
Yet saw only blackness and overwhelming sorrow.
Believed Jesus would carry me when I could not go on;
Instead, fell flat on my face crying to God for help.
Discovered there is a time for everything under heaven;
Everything in due season // sometimes sooner // sometimes later.
So, when you pray don’t expect expected answers;
You will usually wait for things to take their course.
Don’t lay on God expectations beyond what might happen;
Leave the miracles for the unexpected occasion.
Don’t let your faith become a denial of reality;
Most illnesses take their course // healing may or may not come;
Most troubles will blow over in due time with scars to show;
And yes, you will feel scared to death through it all.
So, hang on for a wild ride on this roller coaster we call life;
And, if in the end we are blessed with a loving caring family
and friends //consider them a blessing from God.
They will sustain us and walk with us
through the valley of the shadow of death.
If not, we will endure to the end…
When our spirit rises to rejoin our creator.

*********************
It is interesting to me how different most prayers are from this example Jesus gave his disciples!

Matthew 6:9 –
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11
Give us today our daily bread.
12
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one…

NIV – Gateway Bible.com

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Masterpiece for God

IMG_7374

The Cologne Cathedral is a majestic structure. We visited Cologne this past summer and were in awe of the fine detail in every aspect of its architecture. Looking up, it appears to stretch upward like a giant skyscraper. The most amazing thing is the cathedral was built without the help of modern technology or tools. Skilled craftsman sculpted every stone by hand. Many who visit find this magnificent cathedral to be a very spiritual experience which brings them closer to God. Others simply enjoy the history and appreciate the wonderful architecture.

Craftsman carved

their faith into every stone

Masterpiece for God

EER_0470 (3)

EER_0480 (2)

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Amaya at d’Verse asked us to use the word Majestic in a poem of our choice.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Shedding Religion… Finding God

The older I get the simpler life becomes
I feel sort of like a tree shedding it bark
End of life // is not too far in the future;
makes me stop and think…
“What is really important and true?”
The older I get
the more focused faith becomes;
Moving beyond religious trappings
guilt, fear, and control;
(Knowing those
were nailed to the cross for me.)
Understanding God’s grace in my life
brings me peace;
Knowing I am blessed
to have lived this long
in good health.
I let go of all those things
I once felt obligated to do;
Understanding that the metaphors,
taken so literally by some,
Are there to guide me along the way…
not to prove right or wrong.
I let go of “streets paved with gold”
and “mansions over the hilltop…”
knowing God is Spirit;
No need there
of physical things
we hold so dear.
I believe the image of God
is not flesh and blood
nor what I put on or take off,
but rather an attitude of spirit
that is loving and compassionate.
I came to the realization
that all those prayers I prayed
demanding results
never got past the ceiling.
I realize prayer is meant
to change me // not them
Prayer brings me closer to God,
as I focus on my needs
and the needs of others.
Infomercial religion has no appeal to me
…nor or to God…
There is no place for peddling the gospel
for personal gain…
nor to exert control over the faithful.
Hamster cage religion
leaves me frustrated
and going in circles;
Faith and action bring a feeling
of authenticity and connection.
Church should be uplifting…
an encouraging fellowship
full of good news
connecting us with God
showing us how to love as Jesus loved.
To me the Bible is my guide …
not my God…
words of truth to live by.

Photo:  Dwight L. Roth

Are You Really There?

eer_0511

When life begins to implode on you, it is tempting to begin questioning everything you believed. When prayers are not answered and God seems absent, it really sends you for a loop! This is what happened to me many years ago.  In time, all worked out and life got back on track. It was during this time that I wrote this poem.
My God… MY God… Why Have I Forsaken You?
“I will never leave you nor forsake you”
This promise I had learned
Then my God why am I forsaking you
Are you really there?
Is there method to all the madness
or are you just a good feeling
that comes and goes
to those who wish it so
You seem so far away
Too distant to hear my cry
Too removed to feel my pain
Answers don’t come life goes on
mixed with tragedy trouble and heartache
I have lost all hope
My life sits on the edge there’s no one here for me
No one to share the pain
Still I pray…
Are you really there?

*****************

Photo Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, HA asked to write a confessional poem that revealed something of ourselves that we may or may not normally have written. I wrote this poem many years ago when, at mid-life, I went through a time when everything in my life seemed to be falling apart!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Faith

Sunrise.jpg

Faith

My faith in God is not something to be proved. Rather it is something to be believed and lived. Faith is a belief about truth, with a little experience that helps reinforce it. I have found faith to be rather elusive at times in my life.

When all is well faith comes easy, but when “life happened”, as it does to all of us, it threw me for a loop! I was spiraling downward fast with no answers in sight.  My prayers went unanswered. Things seemed out of control. There was no way I could fix things. The only thing I had left was faith that God was in control, and things would work out for my good. Even then I had my doubts. I was frustrated and angry.

Through it all, I found prayer was what I needed to change me, not others. In time, and with help from some good counselors, life finally got back on track. I learned a lot about myself and about God. It definitely changed my understanding of faith. A lot of what I thought was faith was mostly culture and religion, but my belief in God and his eternal providence and grace is still strong.

Burning through blackness

Spring sun rises // Dark is light

Grace for the graceless

**********************************************

Mish asked us to write a Haibun about some aspect of faith. It has to be written from our experience.  A Haibun has a concise prose segment followed by a  seasonal haiku. Come join us at d’verse.

https://dversepoets.com/

 

Resurrection

Chris's family Easter 2010 012

Resurrection

Behind every cross the sun is shining

Out of defeat comes resurrection // new life

No matter how difficult the road ahead

Nor how heavy the cross we might bear

Hope lies in the understanding that

Behind every cross the Son is shining!

Happy Easter to all of you 

***********************************************

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Johnny Cash says it best… about that one solitary life…  Here Was A Man

Cynical Reality

EER_0001

I believe that faith and proof are really contradictions and tend to get us nowhere. It is interesting to me how some people say they believe by faith and yet spend endless amounts of time trying to prove that their faith is reality based on the Bible, or on history, etc. Reality is not found anywhere in the definition of faith. In the Christian Bible Hebrews tells us that faith the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen!  In essence it is telling us that faith is a belief in something that has no tangible reality. So to try to prove it to be otherwise is contradictory. Our belief system  is based on faith. Faith is what we believe is the truth of God in our lives.  The only tangible evidence we need is that my faith works for me. I can only tell my own story. Beyond that it becomes your story to tell. What the future holds remains to be seen.

Cynical Reality

Pursuing knowledge down roads of history

Truth collections worn as halos

Crosses robes and purple hearts

Learned studies revealing questions

Drawing us into an never ending spiral

In pursuit of truth that makes

It no longer faith out of necessity

Rather truth in its actuality

What contradictions we offer

Finding faith and actuality

On the same train

Finding reality and unreality

To be identical twins

In the end finding love

To be the ultimate unending truth

And faith the ultimate unreality

How foolish we are to attempt

To prove the substance of things hoped for

And the evidence of things unseen

EER_0011