Iíve never really had much faith, even as a young child. I guess itís because Iíve never really felt faith, known it.
What exactly is faith? What does it feel like to know faith? How do people find it? Iíve heard of people finding religion, maybe a spiritual path. Iíve heard tales of Aha! moments, epiphanies, awakenings, enlightenment, and truth. Are those the breadcrumbs along the path of faith? Or is faith the breadcrumb along the path toward these equally elusive states of being?
More importantly, why does faith seem to exist somewhere above and beyond my natural capabilities to think and reason? And why canít I get there? Actually, why wonít I go there?
Sure, I understand the basic definitions of the word faith, straight from Oxfordóhaving complete trust or confidence in someone or something, or strong belief in God or in the doctrines of religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
Complete trust? Do people really experience complete trust? Whatís that like?
Spiritual apprehension? In this case, I take apprehension to mean understanding and not fear, although fear seems to be a common factor among many religionsóitís a common factor among humans, isnít it?
These definitions merely add to my state of wonderment about faith.
The skeptic in me wonders, Do I have complete trust in anyone or anything? Even myself? I honestly canít answer that right now. I donít think so, though.
You see, the world is an ever-changing place, especially its inhabitants, actually its people, including me. My life among them is ever-changing as well. My mind changes constantly, sometimes instantly. In fact, I am a temporary being. How do I know that what I think I believe today, Iíll actually know to be true tomorrow? Iím reasoning on a daily, moment-to-moment basis. I am a new, and hopefully improved, being each moment.
But I see what faith does for people, the peace of just knowing, without the heavy burden of evidence and reason, that it brings, and I think, Iíd like to know a little of that. Sometimes I would. Really. But I canít just make myself understand and know faithómy mind, despite my daily practice in training it, is what it isóand itís not so easily managed or calmed. It thinks, sometimes over thinks, and reasons.
Faith? Let me think, even reason, it over.
You know, come to think of it, there is one little something in which I have a great amount of faithóitís called love. And the evidence that love exists, that itís real and true, is kindness.
Now, I could look up the Oxford definitions of love and kindness, but I donít want to because I already understand and know love, and Iíve seen and experienced kindness. I have. Havenít you?
In my everyday little moments, call them what you want, I have found faith in love and kindness.
Iíd venture to say that Iíve reasoned my way toward understanding and knowing faith, simply through witnessing acts of loving kindness. I have given and I have received. In loving kindness, I have complete trust. I have faith. I know it.
In whom or what do you have faith? And what are your reasons?