Some people struggle with what they believe. I generally don’t. I can support my beliefs with logical facts or experience. Personally, spiritually, professionally, I could tell you what I believe.
I struggle with Faith. “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen”.
My time in Los Angeles has made this even harder. This is a town built on faith, not facts. Any coffee shop, apartment, or random line of people contains conversations about how things are “about to happen”, or something which will explode into to reality “in a few weeks”. And the unspoken truth is this – it’s bullshit. The vast majority of it will never happen or get close to meeting expectations. But we carry on this way, big plans, big meetings, big talk.
Cause every once in a while it does “happen”. Every now and then a project or idea does explode from nothing into reality like a creative big-bang. And you hear about it, or it makes news because… well… it’s as rare as a lottery win.
Yet we play along. All of us. Smiling and pumping each other up like high school kids before a football game. Some people take this too literally and quickly leap headlong with full faith that it will all happen. They often wind up face down on the concrete. While people like me start digging for facts.
This leaves me with a two-fold problem. You see I know that breakthrough takes risk. In the parable of the talents, the guy that was cautious and buried things was the only one who lost. And I have things to show for charging out without a net… Everyday Driver for example.
Yet, I’ve really only taken two huge leaps of faith in my adult life:
1 – I asked my wife to marry me. There was no question I loved her and wanted to be with her. My struggle was not knowing if I could be a decent husband. And wondering if we would grow old and grow apart. I had no evidence to shore up my hope it would work out. Now, after 12 years of experience, I believe. Even when it’s hard.
2 – I left New Line. I had nowhere to go. No other job waiting. But I was miserable and angry. And getting worse. There was no evidence that our lives would be better if I quit the job. But we knew it would be awful if I stayed. A year later, the company closed, dragging the employees through more stress and heartbreak and leaving them without work. My time since then has been tough, but I’m much happier and healthier. And looking back on that situation… I believe.
My wife has faith. She balances me, which is a big factor in #1. And she hears from God and gets a strange peace about things, which contributed to #2.
Now here we are at a new enormous crossroads. Our time in LA draws quickly to a close and we’re looking out at the next chapter. With no clear direction. And it’s terrifying.
I believe I have talent. I believe it’s possible to live somewhere interesting and inspiring. But moving there with no solid job, no savings, and no safety net requires faith.
So you see the problem.
I’ve been talking to God about it. My wife has as well. And we’ve raised it together. But even she isn’t feeling a definitive peace. Our search for direction goes unanswered.
Actually, that’s not entirely true. I do feel like I’ve gotten an answer, but it is unlike any before. I feel like God is looking down and saying “You’re a big boy. You’ve done this before. I equipped you. So you make the call.”
It’s the parable of the talents in 2010. Bury. Or gamble.
I want to believe, but evidence is lacking. I’m forced to rely on faith.