(c) 1997 Chris Falson
I am of no faith….. no faith in particular that is.
I remember the first day at school (aged 5 or 6). After we gave our names we had to tell the teacher what our father did for a living and then say what faith we belonged to. On both counts I failed the test…. or at least that’s how I felt at the time.
While all the other kids said that their fathers were bankers, or builders, or butchers or firemen…. I announced in a matter of fact voice that mine was a musician. Well the kids went wild….”his dad is a magician, woweee…”…. “no he’s a musician” I yelled out over the din…. “What’s a musician?” I felt like Bart Simpson…. my father had let me down because no one knew what he did….. except the teacher…. she was most impressed.
When it came to religion…. I didn’t know what we were. We weren’t anything…. we didn’t go to Church…. though on my mother’s side there was a connection to the Methodists…. that’s where I had been Christened as a baby. But I desperately wanted to fit in so I became a Methodist, just like that…. and that was good because there were a few other Methodist kids in the class. I was one of the ‘guys’ now…. even though my dad wasn’t a magician.
That’s how most people define faith. It’s a club you join and then you belong….. “yes I am of the Catholic faith”…. “Oh I was raised a southern baptist but now I am of the Hindu faith”…. etc etc
In this regard I have no faith. I don’t want to belong to a collective of beliefs or a club or society that I have to defend when some nutter goes and says something stupid…. which of course could be me….. I am known to say stupid things on occasion…. and I sure don’t want anyone else getting blamed for my narrow minded, ignorant, petty, self aggrandizing out bursts. It’s better this way…. don’t you agree?
The dictionary describes faith as: “complete trust or confidence in someone or something”…. or “belief that is not based on proof”
This kind of faith I do have….. but I can’t really prove it.
A Roman citizen of the first century AD described faith as the “substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen”….huh? How about…. “… being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”.
In the Indiana Jones movie, The Last Crusade, ‘Indy’ is confronted with a problem that tests his faith.
The Holy Grail is guarded by three ‘booby traps’. After surviving the first two he then must cross over a deep chasm to get to the next door, but the distance is too great for him to jump.
It is a test of faith.
As Indy nervously looks down at the abyss, his situation seems impossible…. but his father is dying and there is only one hope of saving his life…. and that hope lies on the other side…. and so he closes his eyes and takes one very tentative step forward. His foot is heading towards ‘thin air’ when all of a sudden it lands on something solid… ‘the evidence of things not seen’. His discovery of an invisible bridge allows him to cross over. He marks the bridge with a handful of pebbles which then allows others, perhaps with less faith to follow him.
Faith is not a set of beliefs or opinions. That’s dogma. Faith is taking risks, putting your beliefs or dreams to the test.
The Hebrews say that it is impossible to please God without faith but that every one has a measure of faith, to use or not use.
Maybe faith, when it’s not active in pursuing the impossible….. or hoping for something better….. well maybe it starts to die and it becomes ‘a faith’.
I also think real faith is contagious. When I hang around someone who’s attempting the impossible, someone who’s living out their dream…. his/her faith rubs off on me.
Sometimes we have to show some faith in each other…. a fews words of encouragement can stir up those dying embers and all of a sudden our faith is alive again.
Other times I have to stir up my own faith…. put it to the test one more time.
I wrote this song when I was moving from Sydney to LA. I knew why I was moving here but it was impossible to explain…. still is.