Understanding "strength trough faith"
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30-04-2011, 04:35 PM
Understanding "strength trough faith"
When discussing my theistic mom we mostly end up where she says "You may be right boy, but I always drew a lot of strength out of my faith." At this point I usually stop. Not only do I think I should not take that strength from her, I'm not really sure what kind of strength that may be or how that might work. I just don't have the hearth to tell a 70 year old woman I love that it's stupid to draw strength from imaginary friends.

Rewind August 2009.
In a mood of macho masochism I wrote myself up for the dodentocht (DeathMansHike). A walking event where the goal is to walk 100KM (63miles) in under 24 hours. See it as a challenge against yourself. Everyone can walk. But only the ones with the correct character get to the finish. The price at the end is a replica medal, a pineapple and respect of those who failed.
It worked pretty smooth for me until KM70. by that time, every step you make makes your feet HURT like if some sadist has put your feet into a vice, I had not seen any familiar face for the last 10 hours and my moral was about as high as the IQ of George W. I was this far from giving up. The next checkpoint/exit was at 80Km. upon arrival at that point. My wife was there and with her, my mother and father for support. My wife treated my feet and my father said he would walk along the next 15Km. That was the moral boost I needed. I made the finish after a non stop hike of 21H.

Back to a few weeks ago.
After watching some of 3vid3nces video's it became the dinner-table talk and my wife and I where discussing the "drawing strength from faith" issue. I said "How can my mom be so cruel for herself. She "draws strength from faith" while in reality, all that strength is really inside herself but she gives credit to some imaginary concept. All this strength is HERS. She IS that strong"
My wife said:
"Remember the dodentocht? You finished it however you where about to give up. It was only after your father walked along that you where able to continue. What was the difference? Your feet where still hurting, and YOU where still one who walked every single KM. Yet somehow it made a difference that someone walked along."

So that "drawing strength out of faith" thing fell into place for me.

Important life lessons where learned at dodentocht:
You have no idea how a smiling face of a loved one can boost you up until you experience it.
You can do things you would not think you could if you get some support.
Moral support often suffices.

(It took the blisters 3 weeks to heal. Never! Ever! Again!)

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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30-04-2011, 08:35 PM
 
RE: Understanding "strength trough faith"
(HUGS) Sounds like the dodentocht was worth every single step of the way, to a new understanding of your own sense of self and strength and also your mom's.

Atheists I know don't usually use this term however, I don't believe it's exclusive to Theism at all.
You're blessed!
Which in my world means, you're gifted with something (or someone) that helps you to be more than you were and everything you can dream.

Well done. Smile
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01-05-2011, 12:07 AM
RE: Understanding "strength trough faith"
Having faith in your own strength and character is a powerful thing. Having someone else bolster that faith by verbal and emotional support makes a huge difference. In times of weakness we turn to others for support. We don't need an imaginary friend to benefit from the power of faith. It is faith itself that is the power.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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01-05-2011, 04:44 PM
RE: Understanding "strength trough faith"
Interesting story. I think it's sad that they need religion(in the same way it's sad that you couldn't do the dodentocht without any support), but I think that as long as the theist is respectful and doesn't force their beliefs or do stupid things based on their beliefs, that it'd be wrong to take their faith from them when they need it. Now, if their faith gives them a lot more pain and strength, I think it'd okay to deconvert them and take it from them, but otherwise I think it's better to allow them their faith.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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07-05-2011, 07:47 PM
RE: Understanding "strength trough faith"
[Image: strength-through-unity.jpg]

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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08-05-2011, 03:46 AM
RE: Understanding "strength trough faith"
LOL Big Grin

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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09-05-2011, 04:09 PM
 
RE: Understanding "strength trough faith"
I believe most if not all your mothers strength comes from within as much as mine or yours. What I think is also a valuable lesson in this story is that strength can be had in those difficult times through the love you share with someone or something. I know that thinking of a loved one and maybe a time we were laughing has got me through some tough physical times in the Marines and made me suppress the hurt I was in and make it a little farther. Like anyone else on here I can't understand thinking that anything came from A god but it is something we could all take a page from in a way or maybe I'm saying something we shouldn't knock so much. The love and belief your mom has for god gives her strength in the same way the love you have for your wife might give you a little more strength.
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