Monday, June 8, 2015

Myths that Derail Faith

Dear Friends,

Myths abound in the world – about many aspects of life. Three myths, in particular are destructive in the way they work on our minds and stoke our fears. This small collection of myths tell us that God is not really steadfast, so we had better fend for ourselves.

The first of these destructive myths is scarcity. There isn’t enough for you and me, so I’ll take care of myself and good luck to you! Hoarding and violence are ways of responding to the threat of scarcity. All over the world, in countries where there is scarcity there is pushing and shoving when food arrives. Where there is a scarcity of respect for the human person, there is violence. We witness to the power of the myth of scarcity when we take more than our modest share. Scarcity translates into “God is not trustworthy.”

A second destructive myth is self sufficiency. “Whatever is needed, I can do it myself.” This myth disconnects us from others, and from our God. Look at the back of a dollar bill. Ben Franklin and his design team took four years to produce two circles to represent our nation in a satisfactory way: The right circle is dark , because in 1776,  the nation did not know what it would become. The circle on the left contains a pyramid with a bright face and no top. Above the sheered - off top is the eye of God, over the land : from the beginning, one nation, under God. Dependent and interdependent America  is our homeland.

The third myth is destructive silence – the unwillingness or fear of sharing the things in life that really matter. In not speaking out against injustice or not speaking up on behalf of others, evil wins. In not offering words of hope, others become hopeless. If we keep silent in our sorrow, the world can offer its temporal comfort to us, but nothing lasting.  Instead of destructive silence, our God invites us to speak words of hope. The word hopeless is not in God’s vocabulary. With God, we can name sin for what it is and release into the world the power of God for good.

Negative forces in today’s world take advantage of our uncertainty about God’s steadfast love, and uses our uncertainty to entice us away from God and to control us. But, God is not the giver of scarcity or disconnectedness or destructive silence. Our loving God invites us to proclaim God as steadfast and to live in that confidence.
                                                I, God, will not remove my steadfast love.
                                                I will not be false to my faithfulness.
                                                I will not violate my covenant with you or
                                                Alter the word that went forth from my lips.
                                                Happy the people who know you, Lord,
                                                Who walk in the radiance of your face.  (Ps.89: 3,4,16 paraphrased)
 ~Sister Joan Sobala