Saturday, February 19, 2011

Found. (My take on Faith!)

Why I’m thinking of a George Michael song as the opening line to this blog entry, goodness knows. Nonetheless, I’ve heard the phrase widely used, and in many contexts...
“You gotta have faith...”
Ok, so the need for ‘faith’ is widely acknowledged in society today. 
But where exactly are you meant to put your faith? …in yourself? …in others? …in humanity?
And what does it mean to have faith anyway?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, Faith is defined as having "complete trust or confidence in someone or something" and "strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof".

Is it even possible to have COMPLETE trust or confidence in "someone or something"?
My experiences of faith have kind of felt like “a nestling into.” 
Like being able to safely trust, let go, and in a child-like way, relax in the shelter of someone bigger;  Someone who loves me, and can lead me to safety.

In about 1000BC, the Psalmist wrote;
“Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2) 
These sentiments have always resounded with me. 

Maybe you think that you don’t or can’t have faith at all.  In anyone.  Even in yourself.
Nonetheless, we as humans find ourselves hungry for a deeper spirituality... for some kind of meaning to life.  Where does that hunger come from? 

Many Australians who don’t identify themselves as being ‘religious’ still acknowledge that there MUST be something more than what we can see.  Life is too precious. Too amazing. That jaw-dropping sense of awe when something truly overwhelms you… A baby’s first cry. Mozart. Tasmania’s National Parks. Children’s laughter. Colour. Taste.  Strawberries. Good wine. Galaxies. Just a start.

Surely this is most of the hurdle to faith:
Acknowledging the possibility of something beyond what we can see, hear, taste, feel, smell is surely the hard part - after which, surely ANYTHING could be possible… right?  

Some acknowledge the universe or cosmos as holding a kind of ‘mystic’ power, but even this is pretty bold by the standards of modern science and humanist thinking.
          And yet... Life is too mind-blowingly incredible. Too wonderful.
So we open our minds to the possibility, that maybe, just maybe, there’s more than we can see or possibly understand in its entirety.  Possible then… that maybe, just maybe, there is even a God who planned it all... A God who made this INCREDIBLE universe, and planned YOU along with it, with all your hopes and dreams inside - not an accidental cluster of cells, but created by a Master Artist.  The same Artist who luxuriated in the infinitely intricate creation of this awe-inspiring universe and all the cells and microcosms there-in, with a remarkable congruency.

I've done my fair share of dabbling in existentialist and humanist philosophy; teasing out the notion of bangs, swamps and monkeys. But every sojourn into this barren wilderness has led me to faith in my (depressingly fallible) self, and into a state of blah-filled hopelessness.

It was only in the letting go of my need to get my head around the nitty-gritty of it all, that true peace washed over my soul.  Not being stupid, or assigning my brain to some IQ score 20 points lower… but a surrendering.  A hunger to preserve the spiritual Truth I have found, even to the detriment of getting my head around apparent scientific ‘truth’.

And I can say, honestly and life-changingly, I found my rock that is higher than I.

“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”  Blaise Pascal (French Mathematician & Physicist)