I have chased after certainty my whole life. There’s something in me that desires to understand the world, categorize, figure out which box you fit into, and then move on. There’s something in me that longs not just to have a firm place to stand, but everything fixed and concrete – able to be known and understood. There’s something in me that wants to avoid ambiguity and shades of grey.
I want to know who is out and who is in. I want to know who is right and who is wrong. I want to know what is acceptable and what is not. I want to understand, and by understanding be able to change those things that are wrong – prevent tragedy, stand in the way of pain, smooth out the rocks in the road and pave over all my doubts. I am tired of taking things on faith – which, in too much of my life has simply meant “because that’s what I tell you it means…”
I want to know truth – about God, life, suffering, beauty, community, love, redemption, and justice. And I assume that that truth is static and unchanging. I assume that it is knowable. And it is… but only in part.
“Faith is never in a state of equilibrium but is always developing, sometimes accepting divine initiatives, sometimes questioning, and occasionally straining to understand what that might be.”
– Desmond Alexander
I’d like to add to that that sometimes faith is arguing, yelling, swearing and weeping. Sometimes faith is listening, accepting, receiving. Sometimes faith is resignation – “to whom else shall I go?”
I’m only now beginning to be OK with ambiguity, uncertainty, and doubt. I’m only now deciding to dive into the messiness of life and stop expecting to control everything, understand everything. I”m only now beginning to live.
And in time, eventually, hopefully, someday, that developing faith will lead us to the one firm place on which we can stand…
“Give me but one firm spot on which to stand, and I will move the earth.”