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The Test Of Faith

Navdeep88

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Dec 23, 2009
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Recently I came across a tv episode of the show "Reba" that I found interesting. Although it's in a Christian context, I thought the issue it brought up was still pretty relevant.

Reba - 5x04 - And god created van 2 - YouTube
Reba - 5x04 - And god created van 3 - YouTube
Reba - 5x04 - And god created van 4 - YouTube

Synopsis:
The whole family goes to Church on Sunday mornings except Reba's son-in-law (Van), who stays home and watches Sunday morning football. One day the family confronts him... why aren't you going to church with us? He finally confesses that he doesn't believe in God.
This upsets the family, especially his mother-in-law. Upon interrogation, he admits that when his back started to have trouble and he wanted to play professional football, he prayed. And he prayed. But his back did not get better. So he stopped believing.
Reba forcibly takes him to church to have a talk with the Minister. The Minister asks Van if he's there out of his own free will. He responds, "No." the Minister allows him to leave.
This infuriates Reba... but upon further inquiry, it turns out Reba also had doubts. When she was going thru divorce, found out her daughter was pregnant and wanted to marry her high school boyfriend, her life was falling apart. She says she prayed and prayed, and then one day, just stopped. She too had had her doubts.



When there have been times when it felt your faith was being tested, what did you do to still keep believing? Although this is a personal question, and you don't have to describe the circumstance... but what did it feel like and what did you do to keep believing, and not give up? How did it turn out?

A few months ago, I lost my aunt to brain cancer, and just a few days ago, an uncle to a similar illness. This, among other things like financial hardship etc., its just been trying. But the biggest thing, I feel like the past few years, a lot of responsibility has fallen on me. To the extent of my knowledge and will, I've tried my best to take care of things and help everyone around me. But the one thing I've asked, prayed for... a good source of support, I have not received. I don't know what to make of it, I'm stretched very thin. And I cant afford to give up. *help
 
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Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
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Dec 21, 2010
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Navdeep88 ji thanks for your post.

We all go through things some of us even much worse than others and there is virtually no end to how bad it can get to how good it can become. I had some very personal experiences that have caused me to reflect.

The only aspect that provides hold in such situation is not faith but realization. A realization that we as humans are an extremely fragile entity. When it is good it is only natural to forget so. We really need to recognize that we are here because others died. So birth and death are very tied. It is much easier said than done but we have to come to grips with this in matters of death. There is virtually no option but to do so. Just as we never plan the exact moment of birth we cannot set a convenient, preferred or when it should happen all things considered moment of death. Every breath is a gift and it was a gift for those who died and it is a gift for those living. Gift is a gift. We cannot demand a bigger gift resulting in longer life. Gifts cannot be demanded.

So again I will highly recommend that you find examples of people in much worse situations as a check that what we think is bad is not the worst most of the time. I also encourage you to study and try to understand SGGS. This is beyond just praying and reading. There is much wisdom that slowly makes pain manageable. It has been helping me and I can vouch for it.

Hope the above is of some help.

May every tomorrow be a better day than today for you.

Sat Sri Akal.
 

Tejwant Singh

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Jun 30, 2004
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Navdeep88 ji,

Guru Fateh.

First of all, to say I am sorry for what you are going through would be an insult. Trails and tribulations are part of our lives. The good thing about Sikhi is that it is not a faith, hence there is no fear of losing it but we are always tested as Sikhs. Sikhi is based on being tested daily from different aspects.

Sikhi is about Hukam and the sacrifices of our Gurus and many Sikhs after them prove that.

So, now the question arises, how to learn to accept the Hukam and what I mean by accepting the Hukam is how to get up, dust off, and get ready to climb the cliffs of life from which we have just fallen due to force majeure?

It is like learning to walk and talk again after a stroke or a serious accident. Gabby Giffords, the Congresswoman from Tucson,AZ comes to mind who was shot in the head and seeing her taking baby steps from her walking to talking gives all of us the glimpse of hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and this time, the train is not coming towards us.

Inspite of the fear of indulging in me-ism, I would like to share something with you which I wrote some years ago:

http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/sikh-sikhi-sikhism/23859-miracles-in-sikhi.html

Regards

Tejwant Singh
 
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Harry Haller

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Jan 31, 2011
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Navdeepji,

Two points,

Firstly, Although I have no ruck with prayer, I am not a great fan myself, rather than pray, I find it more constructive to actively do something about the problem, but with a solution completely in line with Sikhi, it is finding that solution that can be hard, it is knowing what to do, the right thing to do, in that respect, I think you can find answers in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, there are things you can do to keep despair at bay, keep the fear of failure at bay, to embrace optimism, success, compassion, love, Sikhi can help you keep all these in some sort of balance so that you are enabled to be in the best possible mental and physical shape to fight this war that has appeared on your doorstep, there are no magic tricks and no miracles, but in this shape, you do have the ability to deal with anything

I am not going to say prayer does not work, it just does not work for me, however this reminds me of a situation following my last heart bypass, they put me on painkillers for the pain in my chest where the ribcage had been sawn in half, I stated that they did not work, and in the end forgot to take them one morning, what followed was the most excruciating pain I have ever felt, I dont know if your praying is working, if it is helping give you the support you need, but you may find that if you stopped, you would then get an idea of just how unsupported you could actually feel,

One day the sun will shine again, it always does, hang on in there
 

findingmyway

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Aug 18, 2010
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Navdeep ji,
My sympathies to you. Thank you for sharing the videos-it helped me understand where you are coming from. Life is tough! If there is ANYTHING I can do to help and support you, please do not hesitate to let me know by PM.

My personal understanding through my experiences is that belief in God, faith are not important but feeling connection to Ik Oankaar is. For me, this is primarily achieved through connection with nature so I used to spend a lot of time in the wilderness with no modern facilities or basic access to facilities intermittently. I can no longer do that due to several reasons.

Abrahamic faiths work on the concept of God fearing as shown in the youtube clips. Sikhi is all about God loving. Unless you have the love, faith will wane and trials will be difficult to bear. For me, prayer is not asking for favours to a personified God who will then change the nature of life. Rather it is like a personal conversation to help give me strength to cope with difficulties that I am experiencing. Ups and downs are part of life. They cannot be avoided as it is the law of nature and therefore Hukam. All we can do is hope to have the strength to deal with the trials, just like the shahids did and the mothers did when watching their children killed for refusing to convert.

I would like to share something that one of my blind patients said to me, that struck me and helped me a lot. She said a lot of people question "Why me?" She said that was an awful thing to say because that meant you wanted it to happen to someone else! I think this is a wonderful way of looking at things. Her response was "Why not!" and I have tried to incorporate this thought into my thinking so it stops me feeling so bad about things. Why not me? Absolutely true!!

One of the lines in the video that struck me was when Reba spoke about how Van had a relationship with God but they were not talking at the moment. That struck me because I am unhappiest when I feel I have lost the connection to Akal Purakh, when I feel there is an impenetrable wall. That is not loss of faith but it makes me feel alone. When the connection is there I no longer feel alone and I am able to handle a lot more of what life throws at me! The most interesting thing is that the periods of disconnectedness are not related to difficulties in life since I am become more involved in Sikhi and started reading Gurbani more.

I hope you gain the strength you need to cope with all that is happening in your life.
Take care kudihug
 

Gogs Singh

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Jan 18, 2009
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theres people starving all over the world,theres people in war all over the world.women and children are forced too sell there bodys all over the world and countless other evil acts are being comited.too be onist for any one of us too put our fears and worrys above anyone elses is a selfish act.true faith is not realised as long as you are haunted by lust ego greed attchment.try and let your own world go and try and make there problems yours everyone suffering in the world is everyone of our resposiblity as we are also resposible for that suffering.

"nanake naam chardi kala tere panea sarvath da pala"

instead of being sad about your uncle and aunty be happy god gave them alife as my frend you and me one day are going too go too the same place.im sory if i sound abit harsh but this is my understanding of the truth and i hope it helps.
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
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Jan 31, 2011
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theres people starving all over the world,theres people in war all over the world.women and children are forced too sell there bodys all over the world and countless other evil acts are being comited.too be onist for any one of us too put our fears and worrys above anyone elses is a selfish act.true faith is not realised as long as you are haunted by lust ego greed attchment.try and let your own world go and try and make there problems yours everyone suffering in the world is everyone of our resposiblity as we are also resposible for that suffering.

"Guru Nanake naam chardi kala tere panea sarvath da pala"

instead of being sad about your uncle and aunty be happy god gave them alife as my frend you and me one day are going too go too the same place.im sory if i sound abit harsh but this is my understanding of the truth and i hope it helps.
Im sorry, but I find this a classic example of rhetoric without any empathy or directional assistance. Have you any idea how hard it is not to be haunted by lust ego greed attachment, do you know how difficult it is to let the suffering in your own world go? do you live by this yourself?

I find it extremely unhelpful when members address problems by merely pointing at the suffering in the world, for us as Sikhs to be able to lend ourselves to assist in the suffering, we first need to address issues that we ourselves may have, and it is important that these issues are addressed, and addressed in a manner that enables us to put whatever demons to bed, so that we can move on to other people, Sikhism is not about being a Martyr, Sikhism is about finding the balance between enjoying a happy and fulfilling life ourselves, whilst practicing the bani on a practical level in our every day lives

Apologies for any offence, none intended
 

Navdeep88

Writer
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Dec 23, 2009
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Im sorry, but I find this a classic example of rhetoric without any empathy or directional assistance. Have you any idea how hard it is not to be haunted by lust ego greed attachment, do you know how difficult it is to let the suffering in your own world go? do you live by this yourself?

I find it extremely unhelpful when members address problems by merely pointing at the suffering in the world, for us as Sikhs to be able to lend ourselves to assist in the suffering, we first need to address issues that we ourselves may have, and it is important that these issues are addressed, and addressed in a manner that enables us to put whatever demons to bed, so that we can move on to other people, Sikhism is not about being a Martyr, Sikhism is about finding the balance between enjoying a happy and fulfilling life ourselves, whilst practicing the bani on a practical level in our every day lives

Apologies for any offence, none intended
Harry Ji,

I totally agree. thank you for that...
 

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