“The opposite of faith is not doubt, it’s certainty.” – Anne Lamott
I’m one of those people that looks at science and nature in a way that it strengthens my faith instead of the other way around. Whether I’m looking up at the stars, or thinking about the vast size of the universe, or even just sitting in my backyard watching the hummingbirds and butterflies come and go, I find it impossible to do these things without feeling a sense of awe.
Recently, I was sitting in my living room with family and friends, and we were watching Cosmos on Netflix. It’s a show about astronomy and all of the wonders of the universe. I started espousing my beliefs, sharing that with the way the universe works so beautifully, and the miraculous way that evolution works, that I can’t imagine we are here just by chance, that I believe we are a part of something larger than any one of us will ever understand.
A jokester in the room said, “Yeah, but what was the real purpose behind the dinosaurs?” and laughed.
I thought to myself, “Well, damn.” I’ve never really thought of that point. What was the purpose of the dinosaurs existing on our planet for all of those years just to go extinct?
The person’s question bothered me for a couple of days until the obvious dawned on me: We’ll never know the answer in this plane of existence. We’ll never know what the point of the dinosaurs was and if their existence somehow ties into the fabric of the world we live in now. We’ll never know if human beings are just a blip in time that will somehow tie into the fabric of the next living beings that exist on this planet.
We’ll never know how much of a hand God truly plays in our lives, or if God truly exists. People (myself included) believe that they know, but no one truly knows. Faith is accepting the unknown, but paradoxically feeling as though you’ve found the known. It’s about not knowing, yet still believing.
Faith is less of something that you have, and more of something you experience. It isn’t having all of the answers. It’s believing that there will be and there ARE answers, but many are answers we may never receive or at least won’t receive while we still live on this planet.
What I do know, is that when I am most distanced from faith (be it faith in God, faith in myself, faith in others, faith in the way the future will unfold, all and any of these things) I’m also at my lowest (as evidenced in this post).
I’m at my lowest when my thoughts are muting out my heart, I’m at my lowest when I rely solely on my human logic to explain the ways of the world, and I’m at my lowest when I choose to see and hear this world through my eyes and ears and forget to feel my way through the world with my heart.
This begs the question, when am I going to set my default station to faith?
Recently, when talking with my friends about the ups and downs of life, I realized that I have a strong desire to strengthen my faith. I don’t want to so easily tune in on a negative station when things happen in my environment, and I don’t want to get swept up in negativity to the point that I’ve forgotten to tune back in to faith.
I know I’m not the only one that finds it way too easy to focus on the negative frequency of thoughts. Luckily, I have amazing friends and family that notice when I’ve gotten off track and direct me back towards faith. Similar to life’s journey, I don’t think anyone is meant to take the journey of faith alone.
But how exactly does one go about strengthening faith? I could give you all of my best guesses, or I could research the topic for a later post. I’ll go with the latter choice.
For now, I want to set the dial to faith.
Eventually, I want faith to be the dial itself.
I want to connect with my faith to the point that my faith is the center of my existence, so that regardless of any outside noise (even the negative station that sometimes plays in my head), I’m coming from a place of faith and I’ll return to a place of faith.
To be continued.