I was raised very Catholic. My parents are devout Christians and wanted my siblings and I to have a strongly based faith in the God that they love. I spent the first sixteen years of my life involved in church choir, religious education, summer bible camp, and extensive bible studies. You name it, if it happens in a church, I’ve probably done it. Hell, I was even an altar boy (err..altar girl? Altar girl doesn’t have the same ring to it). But as I grew up and learned more about Christianity, I realized it didn’t match up with my personal beliefs, and have since strayed away from the religion.

Although everything I had learned through church and church related activities didn’t stick with me, one idea did: Faith. I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that people could believe in something or someone so much that it could withstand any doubts they could have. Sometimes I wonder if that’s why religion didn’t stick with me; maybe I don’t have enough faith. Or maybe I do, but I don’t have the type of faith necessary for religion.

Even though I don’t have faith in a particular god or religion, I think it’s important for everyone, regardless of belief system, to have faith. I believe that in a world with so much darkness and evil, sometimes we need faith to get through that. As we watch hours of tragedy and crime on the news, we need to cling to the idea that there is still happiness and love in the world. We need to cling to it like our lives depend on it, because they kind of do. As we hear the names of victim after victim of shootings and bombings and death, faith is the thing that keeps us from locking ourselves in our rooms.

There is a possibility of death at any moment, if you really think about it. Whether on accident or on purpose (your purpose or that of someone else), there are millions of times each day that you could die. But you haven’t, and you most likely will keep living. Even with the huge threat of sadness and hurt that constantly looms, we have faith that there is something bigger that will beat out the sadness. And even if it doesn’t beat out the sadness, it’s big enough for us to have faith that it might.

We have faith that the sun will rise each morning, even though there are millions of reasons it couldn’t. We have faith that the people we love will continue to love us back, despite all the things we do to annoy them. We have faith that even in a time with so much hate, there are enough good people to make love worth it. I may not have faith in a god, but I have great, abounding amounts of faith in life and love and art and so many other things around me. Even when life sucks worse than I could ever imagine, and I can’t see anything good through my cloudy vision, I have faith that if I stumble through it, there is something wonderful coming up.