Approximately 8 out of 10 people in this planet have some sort of faith, religion, or belief in some kind of divine force, and/or supreme being(s). There are numerous religions, spiritual authorities, scriptures and interpretations of the divine and all of them seem to possess the power to intervene, in one way or another, in one’s life. For the sake of this post, let’s simply call this divine force/higher power, ‘the Universe’. I think it is great for people to believe in something which surpasses their human existence and somewhat can have a go at steering the wheel of one’s life, and I will tell you why.
Thou shalt not be anxious
The core of stress in people’s lives is worry over things they are unable to control. It is this lack of control that causes anxiety and stress. If you eliminate the element of the unknown, even for some brief moments in your life, the symptoms will cease, the anxiety will stop and you will benefit from greater peace of mind.
This is where believers have an advantage over non-believers. Believers benefit from this ‘helping hand’ which will always be there, for good and for bad, penciling out their path through life. The level of ‘worry’ in people’s life can and will be affected by their faith. If you believe outcomes are dictated by the Universe, it is a massive weight taken off your shoulders. You didn’t get that job? No worries, it was not meant to be, it was the Universe’s will, and it will bring you something more suitable.
Faith, however, is not an excuse. Free choice is a given gift to humanity, and it should always take priority. You cannot blame the Universe for not ‘rewarding you’ with a job when you did not put in the effort to apply for one. The Universe simply will not send an angel to knock on your door and invite you to flip burgers in Heaven and offer you a small fortune in return. This is where some people get it wrong. This principle applies to everything and anything in life. Another good example would be disease and medical care. Think about it, would the holier-than-thou Universe be that stupid that it would not provide for humans with the brilliance of Science? So go on, say a little prayer, but don’t forget to take your medicines.
You have choices in life and you always have to put the work in. It is the outcome of this work that, many times, is beyond your control, whether it is positive or the worst outcome ever, the Universe is in charge and it will take care of it. This is not a fundamentalist belief that all outcomes in life come from the Universe. It is about having a bit more faith in your fate and making the most out of it. It’s about opening your mind to the unknown and experience what faith can do for your life. Ultimately, you either believe or you don’t. Either way, outcome focused actions are at the core of every one’s life. You have the choice to worry and stress out about it, or you can simply let things happen and, providing you have done your job and done it well, simply focus on what you are able to control, and relax.
‘But I’m an Atheist’, some of you will say. This is not about believing in God, this is about faith. Faith is a different concept (although many times used interchangeably with the word ‘belief’ – which is a different thing). Faith is not about believing in a specific thing (I.e. God). Instead it is about acknowledging the unknown and hope that somehow things will turn your way, or not. It’s about embracing the great mystery that is life and accept you are not in control of everything that happens to you. And this is why believers are one step ahead in this game so, Atheist or not, have a little more faith in your fate and chill out.