Perhaps you are approximately the same age as I am and remember a parent, acquaintance or grandparent singing or humming these words: “Faith, hope and charity, that’s the way to live successfully, how do I know the Bible tells me so. Don’t worry about tomorrow, just be real good today, the Lord will surely guide you and lead you on your way.”
As a young person, I often pondered that song. If I were good, would I be guided? And if I wasn’t, would I experience negative consequences and not have divine guidance or help?
The first line of the song indicated where to find the answer to successful living; but the second line made successful living conditional based on behaviour.
In hindsight, I realize that is not my truth. Bad behaviour seemed to have a reward unto itself; and good behaviour did not always have the yielded desire.
How good was good enough? And who rated this behaviour? Relying on human understanding made the quest treacherous because opinions vary greatly.
The question begs an answer. Does seeking divine guidance require my performance to qualify? And is there any authority on earth, be it a pastor, parent, teacher, rabbi, friend, spiritual leader or acquaintance who can answer it? There are, of course, those who assert that they have divinely-given authority over those who submit to them.
“Nor shall derision prove powerful against those who listen to humanity or those who follow in the footsteps of divinity, for they shall live forever. Forever.”
Answers to my questions eventually came through life experiences and believing we are truly loved by our creator.
Being good or doing good works have their rewards, but I am persuaded that divine help is not conditional on my actions. There is a greater plan than our determination and resolve to “being good.”
“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” -C.S. Lewis
FEBRUARY 2010 SENIOR LIVING MAGAZINE VANCOUVER AND LOWER MAINLAND