John Bradford is attributed with the phrase:
There but for the Grace of God, go I.
I’m reminded of this phrase this past week because I read in our local paper about a young man who recently passed from a drug overdose. I know people hide behind drugs and alcohol to mask their emotional pain.
We all have emotional pain.
We all go through turmoil.
We all think we have it worse than anyone else.
The fact is we don’t have it worse. There is always someone worse off. You only have to look around the next corner. How do we cope with that adversity? What happens when we slip into the pattern of masking our pain with drugs and alcohol? That can lead us into further challenges; addiction being one of the many issues that stem from drug and alcohol use.
Can we recover from addiction?
Can we not even fall into that hole?
That’s where faith comes in and it is why twelve step programs all have a faith contingent to them. Grace and faith are intermingled in all aspects of life. Unless you can turn to faith when you are in turmoil, the likelihood of sinking further is greater. Masking pain is just that. You’re only hiding the turmoil. Not resolving it. You need to look into why you are having the swirling stress in your life. It’s only then that you can move forward. It’s only when you can admit you have a problem that you can move forward. Faith alone will not help you move forward. I understand that. It can however be an important aspect to getting better.
You can’t deny the fact that people see faith as an important part of their lives.
You can’t deny there are mysterious actions that appear around the world:
Weeping angels are one example of this mysterious spiritual action. There are so many more I can discuss. I’m simply pointing out that some see faith as a real aspect of their lives and we cannot deny that these things happen.
We can’t intellectualize this away as some in science do To do so, delegitimizes those who have seen the mysterious. Those who have seen things that cannot be explained need to be validated. Emotional distress is a real issue people deal with and discounting someone’s belief surely doesn’t help. Using meds, whether it be alcohol or other drugs doesn’t help in the long term either.
In the short term it is one way of dealing with those said issues. In the end masking your pain with meds never ends well or as an ad for CNN’s comedy series says:
In the end drugs and alcohol beat art.
Whenever I read about someone struggling with emotional challenges and acting out, regardless of how I always think:
God, that could very well have been me.
Which is one reason why I believe I have such empathy for people who have no other support system. I could very well have traveled the “poor me” path. I chose another way. I chose faith to help me overcome my own adversity. I still choose faith. So much has happened in my life, yet I didn’t fall down. Not that choosing to mask your pain is falling down. Sometimes it’s a gradual slide and you don’t know you’re in trouble until it’s too late.
That’s where turning your life over to a higher power comes in. For without that spiritual strength, without that guidance it is that much harder to come through the other side.
Faith has helped me overcome so much adversity that I simply cannot believe there isn’t some benevolent being, be it God, be it the Universe, be it a higher power whatever you choose to call it guiding us through the challenges that arise in each of our lives. I’ve seen it help me. I’ve experienced this very thing at moments in my own life. I’ve written about one such example at Wisdom and Life with the column called:
Been there and done that
We cannot dismiss someone’s belief in the supernatural simply because we don’t share the same conviction. Some in the scientific field have done just that attempting to intellectualize that faith away. This is something that cannot be intellectualized. Faith is, well a matter of trust. I like that there are scientists who are bucking the system. I’ve written about Carl Sagan at Wisdom and Life previously and especially in the column Carl Sagan’s Contact. If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, I highly recommend seeing the movie. Mr Sagan is the first scientist I came across that melded science and spirituality.
Seeing the word:
Grace reminds me of the song:
I began today’s column discussing the word grace. I’d like to end the column on the same topic. For me, grace is another important word in my lexicon. Grace is as important as faith. As I said above, these two words co-mingle.
Grace means being blessed. Knowing that we all have the opportunity to find peace and understanding that no one is beyond redemption. You only have to be willing to admit your challenges and seek forgiveness.
Grace is available to everyone. Are you willing to find it within yourself?
Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.
Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;
We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying. For there truly is no end.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that we can’t earn grace, that God gives it freely to us if we simply open our hands and hearts to receive it.