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STRONG SUIT: Faith can move mountains


Dennis Strong

STRONG SUIT: Faith can move mountains

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This article will be published at the beginning of a momentous week. The Catholic Church around the world will commemorate the close of a Year Of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, with prayers and reflections led by Pope Francis.
The United States of America will celebrate thanksgiving, a holiday created in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln in the depths of its civil war. Barbados will celebrate its 47th year of Independence which was forged after much yearning and striving to break the bonds of colonialism.
When you stop and think about it, each of these commemorations have seen some extraordinary accomplishments that were born of faith. People came together in a belief that putting forth their best efforts would produce a superior outcome. None of those believers knew what that outcome would be but today the world is better for what they did.
Recently, I have been in continuous dialogue online and in person with individuals from various backgrounds, beliefs and fields of endeavour. They are disturbed by incidents of senseless violence, frustrated by incessant gloomy forecasts and have perceptions that leaders have not grasped the urgency of the present dilemma. They have begun to question their own ability to determine their future and their worthiness as parents, co-workers and contributors to a decadent society.
These anxieties and concerns are being expressed in relative comfort when compared to refugees from Syria and victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Here, much of our angst is a byproduct of a disturbed sense of security and the intrusion of reality on our perception of entitlement. Traditional approaches to parenting, careers and governance aren’t working. Material acquisitions fail to satisfy a growing desire for proof of self-worth.
I believe this questioning is a good thing. The current economic instability is forcing us to look at the consequences of pursuing privilege, power and prestige at the expense of a grounded commitment to faith, hope and charity. Just as we have delegated our perception of reality and what is good to movies, television, and 24-7 news; we have lost touch with the origins of faith. With this separation, comes the feelings of uncertainty and insecurity that Jesus’ disciples felt on a boat beset by a fierce storm while he slept.
All of us have experienced “worst case scenarios” and survived. We are living and breathing through a power that is too large to fathom. The best of what has happened to us was beyond our ability to imagine. Somehow, we seem to have taken all this for granted and placed our hopes in frail, flawed “leaders”, man-made logic and information systems.
Faith is a positive energy, a resolve to continue and a belief in a positive outcome. It is a gift from our Creator that enables us to hope in the face of adversity, because we know we are in the embrace of a divine force that created us for prosperity. Access to this faith is humility and gratitude. It requires us to take note of the physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual graces each of us has been given, in trust.
We are charged to be “fruitful and multiply” so that we bring benefit to those we encounter.
Re-examine the picture of your hopes and have faith that they will materialize if you pursue them with love. God bless.
• Dennis Strong is the founding president of the Caribbean Institute of Certified Management Consultants.

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