An Atheist friend of mine had a brilliant analogy about faith once.
He said it was like a cup with liquid inside– the liquid being the faith. And if no one refills your cup at times, it gets emptier and you feel terrible and start to lose hope and then have an emotional crisis. He was struggling, as well do, to balance his life.
“My faith cup has a splash in it,” he said.
I agreed, and was impressed.
I was just happy to hear him talking about faith at all! He’s come a long way from his young iconoclast days. He’s kinder.
However, I have something to add.
I think that WE are the cup– how we feel about ourselves. And at some point, we have to realize that it’s impossible to expect others to keep our cup full. They just won’t. They have things to deal with in their own life, or they have wrong reaction or dissuade us from something we want. They fail to believe in us in a crucial moment or area of our life. They may love and support us, but just not know how to express it the right way.
Our cup will always feel empty if we expect others to fill it.
But I’m starting to feel that maybe we do have a way to keep it fuller– at least from becoming empty.
As hokey as that sounds… I believe it.
I’ve always been preoccupied with God and matters of faith.
We can’t depend on others. But if we pray and try to do well by Him, I think it helps. If we think about others, do our best to help them, to forgive and make others happy, to not judge. Do your best to fill the cups of others, especially when they don’t believe in themselves.
People who are surrounded by torment somehow survive. Their sheer force of will seems to keep something in their cup.
I’m beginning to read Scripture more, even if it’s just in bits and pieces and not a formal study.
My cup is feeling more full lately.
I love that Atheists are always teaching something, even if they don’t believe themselves.
And I love when sometimes I break through to them, even for moments– that God is not an enemy or a void. When you are friends with a person who doesn’t believe, it can feel so frustrating. I never judge them or try to convert them. I just accept them as they are and I keep being myself. I let them know their faith or lack of is not a condition of my acceptance or friendship. I still see them and I tell them why I think they’re awesome, what about them I admire.
Don’t forget, God is in that cup! Even though you can’t see Him. And no one can knock him over or drain him away.
Maybe He’s lonely too. Maybe if we talk to him more, he’ll help us feel less alone, less unsure.
Maybe God needs our prayers to fill his own faith cup. If you think about it, he’s just a ghost– though a powerful one.
He needs us, humanity, to do his work and help him connect with us.