A Beautiful Mind or an X-File?

One of my favorite films is Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind, starring Russell Crowe as John Nash, one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century. Nash won a Nobel Peace Prize for his "Governing Dynamics" approach to economics. The film focuses more on Dr. Nash's mental illness and him overcoming that challenge. It was a really good film, although I was more moved by my own performance as James St. John Smythe in The Man From Manchester 3.

I digress.

When I saw A Beautiful Mind for the first time, I was totally blown away when it was realized that Nash's best friend and his employer did not really exist. They were made up in his mind as a result of his mental illness. Important people and the meaningful relationships he had had with them were suddenly gone. Afterwards he always questioned new people as to whether they were real or imagined.

I feel like that when it comes to my faith. Over the last 5 years, everything I have believed in is not what I once believed it was. Now I question everything and am afraid to trust in anything spiritual. I find myself unsure if I can ever believe in anything again. What if there is nothing to believe in, and faith is something we conjure up out of some inner need?

I am a huge fan of the X-Files. Agent Mulder (played by David Duchovny) has a poster behind his desk with the words, "I Want To Believe."

I can relate.


Anonymous said…
Wow Todd, I can totally relate. Faith is a BIG committment. The opposite of faith is not doubt, it's sight. See it how you want it to be, not how it is. That's tough for us humans.

I have this posted at my desk: When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, let go, only 1 of 2 thing will happen, either He'll catch you when you fall or He'll teach you how to fly! :)

Melissa Lee
Minion said…
Todd, One thing I have found out is there are things and actions that can build up ones faith. Even a person can stir up their own faith. If these exercises are not done for a while, faith can become weak. It happens to me also. One of the things that builds my faith up a lot is when I here of a story of someone who was absolutely transformed by God. Also what makes faith rise up in me is when there are stories of miracles that point to God. There may be different things that stir your faith. You may need to rediscover them to move forward and exercise them.
Leah said…
I personally think that having faith is a sign of weakness. A person with faith has trouble dealing with reality and therefore allows themselves to be deluded into thinking that some invisible man in the sky cares about them. It all seems very childish to me.
Caryn said…
You're a good writer and thinker, Todd. Thanks for sharing so well. We're listening and echoing.
James said…
Faith as a sign of weakness? Since there is nothing certain in this life, all great things - spiritual and non-spiritual - are built on faith. Lives, empires, fortunes, dreams, families. How about love? Relationships? Without it, without faith in someone or something, as human beings we're just taking up space.
Martha said…
Jay, my thoughts exactly. I have a few interesting things I keep at my desk - two are on attitude.

One says "Attitude is more than just saying you can...it is believing you can! It requires believing before seeing...seeing is based on circumstances, believing is based on faith". Well said.

I don't think many people could do much without faith in something. It could be faith in a friend, in yourself, your spouse, in love, in people, in God, in almost anything.

I think it takes strength to reach out and have faith in others and believe in something other/greater than ourselves. I sure hope there are things greater than me! Of course, there are times when people dissapoint us and our faith or trust can be misplaced. That has certainly happened when people have let me down (or I have let someone down). But I didn't quit reaching out and having faith.

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