What Do You Believe?
“A Faithless Creed”
-by Tony Bower
I believe in Australia
but have never been there.
I believe in Barnsley FC
but don’t pay to see them play.
I believe in university education
but to what degree?
I believe in lions
but not to hang around with.
I believe in outer space
but have no plans to visit.
I believe in Sky TV
but am not a subscriber.
I believe in many things
but is that the same
as having faith?
A faith that makes a difference
to my daily
A faith that is something firm
beneath my feet.
What do you believe?
I ran across this poem this morning, and although I wasn’t grabbed at the start, I stuck with it, and ended up really liking it. The overall message is a good one, and by ending with faith (my ears hear “Trust”), of course, it caught my attention.
So, What Do YOU Believe? And is what you believe different than having faith? Good questions.
For today’s topic, I’m going to stick with the “What Do YOU Believe?” question. However, I’d love to hear your thoughts regarding ‘beliefs vs. having faith.’ Please feel free to share. (I’ll only post if you want me to.)
I recently stumbled upon the question, “What do you believe?” in Maria Shriver’s book, Just Who Will You Be? Her father posed that question to her as a child. He explained to her that later in life, when things may get difficult or appear somewhat gray, it’s always a good idea to go back to what you believe and stand on that. I thought it was such a brilliant idea to ask a child what they believe, I took the first opportunity to ask my boys.
While walking home from school alone with one of my sons, I posed the question to him. Without asking me to provide any context, and what appeared to me to be without giving it any thought at all, he spouted, “I believe people should take more risks.”
Nice. I liked his fast thinking. I liked his decisiveness. I liked not hearing an answer he thought would make Mom happy. In that one sentence, he confirmed for me that he will indeed, grow up to be a very solid person.
Then yesterday, on our way to a doctor’s appointment, I had the opportunity to ask my other son what he believes. He began by asking clarifying questions; he wanted more information. After which, he responded with some pretty standard answers. I’m not knocking the kid, he’s my “play it safe” kind of a kid, and it will, no doubt, serve him well in life. But when I asked him what he REALLY believes, he said, “Oh, you mean the deep down stuff? That’s easy. Love is everything.”
Just as fast thinking; just as decisive. Approaching life from the heart. Very nice. I liked that, too.
But this article isn’t about me liking my boys’ responses. It’s not to show the differences in their approach to life. It’s not even to compare the two kids. The point is, ask the question. Let them respond. Revisions are allowed. It’s ALL allowed, but do ask the question. And continue to ask it as they grow up.
I want my boys to have something firm they can stand on. I want them to know that what they’re standing on came from within themselves. They are powerful beings. They have the power to create such things, we all do. And in the end, whose beliefs should they be standing on anyway, if not their own?