*Editors note: The following is from my upcoming book. It's due out sometime this next Whenever.
I have really been struggling with faith recently. Well, actually, I've struggled in this sort of way my whole life, it's only recently started to actually bug me. I think it stems from my favorite definition of faith, given by Paul: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
If I could differentiate (I'd probably have passed Calc 1 by now....HA!), I would say that I've always had, and still do have Great faith. I have been the recipient of many and great blessings that I know were directly related to faith. Yet, still, I missed the boat somewhere. Back to Paul's definition: the substance of things hoped for. The evidence. That's a very descriptive word for the struggle I have, evidence is. What I worry about is that if the judgement bar were today, I wouldn't be able to give enough evidence to pass. Alright, I'll quit being all symbolic and mysterious with you. I struggle with Everyday faith. I struggle with prayer. Kinda dumb, huh?
I can't count the times that I walked in on my widowed mother while she knelt beside her bed, begging the Lord to provide for us to get by, and to "not let us turn out to be ax-murderers." "Us" is a family of four, by the way. It's an image that I will never forget.
Now, I've got my own budding family of four. The good part is that we really don't struggle (financially) all that bad. We're a poor student family, and for the most part we live like it, but we're happy. The bad part is that I know I'm incredibly ungrateful for not getting on my knees and asking for the blessings He's giving us. Now, me being a smarty pants edjumacated type, I am able to fear what may come if I don't learn that kind of humility that was instilled in me by my loving mother. I already know I'm not worthy of all the He's given me. But I want to be. I just feel like Captain Naaman, and right now the Spirit is telling me "if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?" or simply, to me, "you really should be praying anyway."
So where does Azeem come into all this? Well, he gave some very astute advice back in 1991: "Get up - move faster." I'd like to modify it a little though, "Get up - do more." I find that I'm taking too much "me-time" (not the same "me-time" as JD in Scrubs, mind you), to the point of excess. I don't want my relationships with my family and friends to suffer because "I just need to relax." In fact, it's the direct opposite. I am confident that as I strive to do more, my capability to do more will increase. And that especially holds true for spiritual things.