The holiday season is upon us and I am brimming with Christmas spirit. For me that doesn’t include shopping, decorating or parties; well, at least not yet. It means having faith in something greater than us; something to believe in.
When you were a little kid and you believed in Santa Claus, do you remember the feeling of faith you had in him on Christmas Eve? You were on your best behavior all yearlong, trying not to be bad because if you did, Santa would find out and you wouldn’t get any presents. Then on Christmas morning, you’d run to the tree and find your presents that were exactly what you wished for and your faith in Santa was greater than ever. Your belief in Santa Claus inspired you to continue having faith and doing good all yearlong. As adults, we don’t have Santa Claus to keep our faith up anymore, and in fact, we sometimes find it difficult to have faith at all because we have the fear of disappointment. But that conviction is ironically what makes us more susceptible to life’s challenges, while faith and belief, drives us forward.
Faith can come in all shapes and sizes. There can be contradictions about where our faith should be put, but in the long run, faith in general is what will drive you forward. There was a news story recently about an anonymous businessman, dubbed “Secret Santa” and every Christmas he gifts $100,000 to people he’s never met in hundred dollar increments. On this particular day, he handed one hundred dollars to an atheist man with a heroin addiction and a family to support. He started to cry, overwhelmed with the gesture that restored his faith in having a better life. He is now in recovery and has found his faith, all due to a random act of kindness that made him believe that he was being looked after, and that there is hope. That faith gave him the power to transform his life.
Unfortunately, there is a shortage of faith right now, and not enough Secret Santas to help restore it. Many people are struggling financially and feeling hopeless and since we tend to believe in only what we can see that usually narrows down to money. But do you know who is in control of getting that money? You are. Although it may be difficult to envision money coming to you when you don’t have it, becoming discouraged and lacking the faith in yourself to achieve it will only make it more challenging. It takes day-to-day faith and determination to stick it out.
The reason why many of us are non-believers in faith is because of our past. We let our previous disappointments affect our present and blame an invisible being for our failures. Well, guess what? If you were to have that attitude when you still believed in Santa, you would be getting a big old lump of coal this Christmas. Maybe you got your hopes up for a big job and didn’t get it. Yes it’s frustrating, but think of how many people don’t get jobs, and, furthermore, how many more jobs there are out there for you to go after. Rejection is only a sign that life is taking you in another direction. Having faith opens our hearts and minds to opportunity, we just need to pay attention.
If you are skeptical about your own success, you may inadvertently hinder yourself. Our negative beliefs about ourselves create negative outcomes. If you say, “I’m never getting that job,” you probably won’t, because you’ll unintentionally not work as hard for it, or come off like you don’t care about getting it. Kind of like a kid saying he doesn’t believe in Santa because he’s skeptical about getting the present he wants, and then getting coal because his parents felt like he was being ungrateful. Never be ungrateful for anything, especially opportunity. Maybe you’re embarrassed about your hopes and dreams, so you keep them a secret or don’t try to achieve them at all. That will only hinder your chances of succeeding. By telling your friends and family, you’ll not only receive support but you’ll self verify that you have faith, and that you believe in yourself. If you believe with intention, you will get what you want.
So when you put your children to bed on Christmas Eve and you see faith in Santa Claus in their eyes, encourage them to always have faith; faith in life and in themselves. The belief that something wonderful may happen fuels our day. Our faith gives us a reason to get up in the morning, and it should do so every morning… not just when there are Christmas presents under the tree.