The Paradox of Faith

At times it strikes me so obviously and clear, that I try to bring it to words but it’s as if the words are a fish in my hands. I can see it, I can feel and even smell it, but I never have a full grasp on it. Every time I think I have it, is the very moment that I don’t.

This is faith.

I love and hate this. It wakens me and frustrates me all at the same time. For in the moment that I am there and I am also far away. For when I feel like I have fully grasped an understanding no sooner am I asking more questions.

Perhaps that is the point. Perhaps theology and God and faith and all of that is less about being sure and more about constantly discovering the goodness that is all around us all the time. About Surprise. Perhaps that is God’s grace and gift to us as much as anything to do with the afterlife. Maybe more.

By being sure and confident I close myself off from discovering. From learning. From creating. If this is it; if I have it figured it out then how can I receive this gift? How can I continue to open my eyes? I will become distant and bitter because life presents challenges and hardships and what I have turns out not to be enough anymore. But there is more. Always more to see and enjoy.

That’s why we can’t explain God. That’s why science always falls short when talking about God. Our ways of understanding demand answers and explanations and sometimes we just don’t get them.

Not because God is cruel.

But because in the act of holding back He allows us to search and feel and find and yearn and find joy where we thought there was none. Finding peace when we’re at our wits end. To be wonderfully surprised.

We’re human which means we get impatient. We want more and when we get it we’re still not satisfied. So maybe that is where God is alive in our life. Maybe that is why we don’t hear God and feel stuck or just want to give up. Because in the end, even if we had it we wouldn’t appreciate it.

So maybe we need the stillness and the quiet and the isolation sometimes, just so we can be fully ready when God speaks.

Then, in that moment,

for perhaps the first time,

we will be fully alive.

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