The formula is as follows:
Faith —> Hope —> Love
…and in that order.
I have an argument against this. I don’t know if I came up with it on my own or if it’s something a swarm of demons put in my head. I’ll try to briefly lay it out for consideration:
I noted in my last post that without a vision a man becomes suicidal (at least, that was the case with me). And I also noted that it seems we’re supposed to have faith that God has a vision for our lives – a vision that is good and leads to untold fulfillment and happiness – but that we must trust it exists without knowing the details of it. We must step “into the hand of God” so to speak.
Some men, of course, do have a vision. Maybe they’ve taken the Nietzschian route and imposed it on themselves? Or maybe, as seems to be the case with most of the blue-collar guys I’m around everyday, life has ushered them into it without a moment’s self-reflection? If you’re lucky enough to be satisfied in either of those two ways, cherish what you have. That’s God’s way of giving you a free pass on the “faith” part of the above formula. You lucky few (or maybe the majority are in this situation?) get out of bed in the mornings knowing exactly who you are and where you’re meant to be. I repeat: cherish it.
For the unhappy few in my situation, we, apparently, must blindly trust that God has something planned for us and that, despite all evidence to the contrary, He’s working it out as planned. If a man is able to truly have this sort of trust in God, then he is also able to jump out of bed, excited for the new day and its possibilities. If a man is unable to have that sort of faith, then he’s miserable, melancholic, and unmotivated. What’s the point?
It ought to be simple then: just have faith, then the powerful motivating hope will seep in and happiness will follow. As a quick side note: happiness follows because even if a man hasn’t achieved his goal and purpose, just knowing that he’s working on it is all he needs for happiness. But not knowing if he’s working on it, not knowing if he’s going in the direction he ought to go…that’s debilitating.
Here’s the argument against the simple “just have faith.”
God, it seems, is perfectly willing to let His people rot. When they get to Heaven what will He say? Will He say that a lifetime of misery and poverty and unfulfilled potential was ultimately worth it in the end? Will it turn out to, secretly, be some grand blessing? Oh, it’s easy to tell a man that when you’re zipping along through life with a purpose. But it’s very difficult to simply trust God when all evidence seems to suggest He’ll let us die, He’ll let our families be destroyed, He’ll take everything from us and never replace it. God cares for a grand esoteric vision that’s unintelligible to mere mortals, and it’s entirely possible (in fact, even likely) that our unending misery is an intricate part of it. And He cares far more for that divine tapestry than for our happiness. Maybe (so the demons suggest) His way of loving us is to keep us humiliated, constantly under the boot of an evil circumstance? If that’s what we have to expect, then how can we hop out of bed in the morning with a spring in our step and whistling tunes?
Why the hell don’t angels ever put a response in my head?
Where are *they*?