We Use Faith in Relationships and Business

Key Ignition

What is faith? We're discussing it because I think a lot of us feel that faith is something that exists in a unique atmosphere of its own. It's some kind of religious superstition. Or, it's what the little boy in Sunday school said, you'll remember, believing what you know isn't true. And so many of us get the idea of faith as something that is different from every other attitude or every other judgment that we exercise in our lives.

During the last week we've been sharing the fact that faith is something that we exercise daily. Every time we do anything or every time we think anything, we put faith in the fact that when we turn the key in the ignition the automobile will start. We often leave it to the very last minute to leave the house, absolutely confidant that when we turn that key the car will start. And this in spite of the fact that quite often we have turned the key and the car hasn't started.

So often, faith in everyday events is not certainty. It is in fact what faith is any sphere is. It's belief plus action based on reasonable evidence. And that is the kind of faith we exercise when we first learn to swim. We put faith not only in the fact that the water would keep us up and prevent us from sinking, but also that if we moved our arms and legs in a certain way as the coach or our father or our mother suggested, we would in fact be able to stay up and not drown. We used the same kind of faith when we bought our house. We looked at the house, we examined it, we looked at all the reasonable evidence that this was a reliable place to live for many years, and then we put down often huge sums of money in faith that what we believed would be true.

Really, we use faith all the time. It's incredible if you think how many of us are living in faith day by day that those complex computers in the centre of our huge banking systems will actually continue to keep our records safely, and will give us the right balance that we have in the bank. And this in spite of the fact that often the computers are down at times, and often, in fact, people thieve from the computers. Yet we put our absolute faith in this unseen machine that works by a method that we don't fully understand, and yet we put our faith in it. We put our faith in deals that we do in business by word of mouth time and time again. Most of the business that is transacted on the floor of the stock exchange is transacted on the basis of faith in the movement of a man's hand, in the shake of a man's hand, in the movement of a man's head, in the work of someone over the phone. So it is important for us to see that faith is not something unique to this sphere of religion. It's something that we actually live our lives by. Indeed the fact is that probably most of the life of the world goes on through faith - through people believing and acting upon reasonable evidence that they have, that something is going to happen.

And that you remember is where we began to enter into considering the basis of the kind of faith that we normally think of when we talk about faith. And that is, of course, faith about the ultimate realities of this life and indeed that's the most important kind of faith because if that is wrong, then we haven't just lost a car or a house or a business deal -- we've lost our whole lives.

So it's vital that you and I know what we're placing our faith in in regards to the way we live this present life. And its important that we are as absolutely certain as we possibly can be in the light of the most reasonable evidence that we can get our hands on that what we believe about this life is right, and therefore , most importantly, the way we're living it and what we're doing with this life is correct. Otherwise at the end of these seventy or eighty years we're going to get an incredible shock that is just not going to be a shock -- it is going to be a disaster and an absolute and utter tragedy. It is going to be an absolute negation of all the time we put into the things that we care about in this life. In other words, faith is not the problem at all -- the issue is what you put your faith in. And that's why we're beginning to apply this factor or this phenomenon of faith to the ultimate realities of life itself, to the things that we believe about life that form the basis of our whole lives and the planning of our whole lives.

Super Computer

I suggested that we begin to apply it first of all to the way we believed this world originally was created or evolved. And I suggested to you, of course, a rather unique possibility about your automobile that you're driving today. You remember I suggested that it was perhaps made by the manufacturer gathering all the parts together and then putting them into a huge washing machine and whipping them round at so many revolutions per hour for about a day or so, and then at the end of that he opened the washing machine and out popped your beautiful, organized, complicated car.

Of course we both agreed, I think, that that was ridiculous. You would never get an automobile from simply putting all the parts into a huge mashing machine and whirling it round and expecting that time plus chance would produce that car. It didn't matter how many days you whirled them round. It doesn't matter how many millions of years you whirled it round. None of us really expect an automobile to come out of a washing machine that had revolved for years and years and years. We just don't believe that a complex machine like the one you're driving or sitting in at this moment, was produced by time plus chance - no! We would say to each other, "Forget that!"

We have often spent hours trying to either change the plugs in this car or trying to even just screw one screw into a seat. We know that whoever originally put this together had to exercise the same kind of disciplined movements and thoughtful analysis of mind that we have in trying to repair one mall part of it. So there's no way this automobile was put together either by a monkey or by time plus chance. This had to be put together by an intelligent mind, it had to be put together by a great many disciplined physical movements. And so we are in no doubt that this did not come about by time plus chance.

And, of course, if that's true of an automobile, what we've been saying is, it's so much truer of this world. This world is more complicated than any automobile. The sun moves according to finer tolerances in time and in space than anything in our automobile. The daffodils and the tulips bloom in greater order each year than our automobile and with more persistence and endurance and with less built-in obsolescence than our automobile. The complicated movements of our blood cells and even the very complicated division of the cells inside a little embryo in a mother's womb into different cells that produce those that make eyes, and ears and legs and those that produce the mind -those are far more complex than any automobile. We cannot put our faith in the fact that this world was produced by time plus chance. It's much too complex -- it had to be produced by an intelligent mind.