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Monday, October 31, 2011

Faith Is: To see purpose in the tragic

To see purpose in the tragic:  the second faith characteristic listed in Alton’s letter is a clear indication that faith is a survival mechanism.  The prerequisites to see purpose in the tragic is the ability to forgive even great injustices and to face them with humility—accepting that purposes may be set beyond immediate human understanding.  When one looks at the development of man over many thousands of years one characteristic would seem to gain marked ascendancy.  Those who reacted to extreme hardship feeling they have all the bitter answers, victimized, resentful, cynical, discouraged, and as destined losers would seem to be greatly disadvantaged by those people willing to forgive and move forward.  Those people who are determined to live optimistically, generously, filled with hope and happiness and as destined winners are not exempt from tragedy.  But they have faith (you may unkindly call it rationalizations or conjured fictions) that out of tragedy good can come if not immediately in the long run.  That they cannot personally see what purpose that might be is accepted in humility. In many ways the approach to tragedy is a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Embittered losers seldom out-perform hopeful winners.  The opposite of faith is disbelief.  The inability to suspend disbelief is a handicap of major proportions.  Belief that there can be redeeming purpose to even tragic circumstances turns out to be the surest path to practical positive outcomes and the ability to thrive.  Starkly put, one is given the choice of either seeing tragedy as dead-end and one-dimensional or as an occasion to exercise forgiveness, humility, and an appreciation of mystery within the spaciousness of hope. 

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