Where Will Changing Course Take You?The traditional definition of faith as discussed from a spiritual perspective, and Merriam Webster’s Dictionary online, is “The belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion.” From this perspective, then, faith is something we can fall into or out of. We even hear people say, “I guess I just don’t have enough faith.” Somehow we have this idea that if we just believed enough, it would all be different. Perhaps what is needed is not more belief, but a deeper understanding of faith and how it is always at work in our lives.
Charles Fillmore, co-founder of the Unity movement, defines faith as, “the perceiving power of the mind linked with the ability to shape substance.” From this perspective, we can tell a lot about what we have faith in by becoming aware not only of what is in our lives, but what thoughts we hold in mind through which we are perceiving our world. Faith, then, is not something that comes and goes. Faith is always present. The greater question becomes, “In what have I placed my faith?”
Depending upon the source, it is said that you and I hold 12,000-70,000 thoughts every day. Yes, that is a lot of variance! The greater idea, however, is that we hold a lot of thoughts! Many of these thoughts are unconscious. We are caught up in habitual thinking. That thinking is influenced by the media, society, family, friends, and religion. We have been bombarded with outside ideas from the moment we are born. Often, these ideas are based in fear and separation.
The media fills us with images and ideas of people and situations we need to fear. Well meaning family and friends may do the same in the hopes of protecting us from some perceived threat or concern. Even religion may point us to what is wrong with us rather than what possibility exists within us. When we get caught up in a thought pattern, that idea represents where we have placed our faith.
Those thought patterns that we hold, then, begin to create the outer circumstances of our lives. We hold conversations and take action based on the thoughts that we hold. This in turn creates the condition of our lives. If your thoughts are dominated by lack, limitation and fear you will undoubtedly be experiencing situations in your life that support your beliefs. The same is true if your thoughts are dominated by possibility, love and hope. You see your brain is designed to gather evidence to support your belief system!
As you and I begin to come to a deeper understanding that we are always living in faith, and that the greater question is, “in what have I placed my faith?” we will come to a powerful place of conscious choice. We can consciously choose new thoughts to hold in mind and begin to transform through faith!
When a pilot flies a plane, he must be aware of his current location in relation to his flight pattern. A one degree error could result in being miles from his target destination. I would invite you to consider this powerful idea in relation to getting out of your rut of habitual thinking. Just a one degree shift in your thoughts, consistently over time, will offer you an opportunity to create a new destination for yourself in life.
We have 1440 minutes a day. Based on the idea that there are 360 degrees in a circle, a one degree shift would be the equivalent of just 4 minutes. What would happen if you focused for 4 short minutes a day on transforming the thoughts you hold? How would your life be different one year from now? Change your thoughts, transform your faith, and watch your life unfold in amazing ways.
If you would like support on your spiritual journey through faith, why not join us at 11 a.m. on Sunday morning for Unity in Edinboro’s weekly Celebration Service. We are a community of open minds and hearts waiting to welcome you with love and acceptance!
Rev. Joanne Rowden is an ordained Unity Minister serving Unity in Edinboro. Ordained in 2010, she has been the Spiritual Leader of Unity in Edinboro since 2001. Rev. Joanne is also the Treasurer for Unity Worldwide Ministries Eastern Region. She is active locally in supporting Catholic Charities in their refugee assistance work by providing Financial Literacy Training to the refugees arriving in Erie. Rev. Joanne has also been involved in establishing an Interfaith Council in Erie. You can reach Rev. Joanne by phone at 814-450-6090 or by email at joanne@unityinedinboro.