Friday, March 7, 2014

Faith in the Unknown

Taking that leap of faith into Christianity seems like a free fall into crazy land. How can people actually believe a man in the sky that they can't see. It seems just as reasonable to believe in the flying spaghetti monster, neither provable nor disprovable. It seems so ignorant. Whatever it may seem, faith is more than that. It is an insight of wisdom, a doubtful struggle, and an enduring journey we all have the choice of taking.

Faith allows us to be prepared for a world we never could have imagined. 

I fail at being a Korean because I didn't trust my parents. As a child I did not understand why it was or would be important, it was neither practical nor relevant. My world consisted of television, play dates, candy, and English. How could little eight-year-old me grasp a future ten years down the road where speaking Korean would become a real and useful skill. I could not. But my parents could. So they sent me to Korean school and told me of a bigger world, one beyond the scope of my childish comprehension where being bilingual in Korean could provide me an advantage in the job market, or one where I might regret not being able to hold a meaningful conversation with my aging grandparents. Back then, I could not see or understand this bigger world even if I tried. 

This other world becomes more real the more steps we take to get to it. 

One does not understand calculus without first learning multiplication. The same concept applies to life. A child can not possibly imagine what job security means until he first understands the concept of a job, and the concept of money before that. There are certain prerequisite concepts that must be understood before we move on to a more advanced concept. All the dots must be in place before we can connect them. My parents did not expect me to connect all the dots or to understand why I would need Korean. I was simply asked to have faith, to trust that those meaningless fill in the blanks and redundant vocabulary memorization's would amount to much more. It was their word against my understanding, faith versus doubt. 

A world after death is not something we can image. Some call it heaven but who knows what it is really like. Since we can't do it ourselves we turn to God. An afterlife seems hopeful at best. God may just be a product of fear, the only option to turn to, to find comfort in death. Or he could be the answer we have all been searching for. Whatever you believe, have an open mind. Doubt may be unsettling, but it has the power to change a flat world into a sphere. 

Doubt is caused by a lack of understanding. It is natural and expected.

It is normal to take cautious steps when we are blindfolded and don't know what may be in front of us, especially if we do not trust the person who is guiding us. Going to church and doubting the beliefs is a natural process, there are bound to be ideas we do not understand but we should actively try to understand. Acting on doubt alone and not seeking truth is ignorance. Not only did I doubt my parents word, I acted in a rebellious manner by refusing to learn Korean because I did not understand what the point of it was. People who refuse to go to church and learn about God because they do not see the value in it act just as ignorantly. 

If doubt is caused by a lack of understanding then what is faith? Faith is not a belief based on evidence or knowledge, that would simply be fact. Faith should not be a belief without any evidence at all either, that could lead down a dangerous road of obedience based on ignorance and it is always possible to obey the wrong person. It would be ideal to obey a perfect God, but humans are imperfect and inevitably doubt. Faith, then, should be a belief that seeks to coexist with and conquer doubt through action. It means trusting my parents when they say Korean will be good for me by learning the material at school, even though I may not understand why, in an effort to educate and decide for myself if their word is true or not.  
It so happens they were right. As a result of my ignorant doubt, people now cringe whenever the painful sounds of mutilated Korean escape from my white-boy lips. I am not going to venture to claim the bible and the Word of God is absolute. That is my own faith journey and am still in the process of deciding for myself. I have my doubts but for some reason I have faith in something I can't feel, hear, or see and it seems to make the most sense. Whenever I doubt too much and can't figure it out myself, I pray and hope God reveals the answers to me. Call me crazy, but it seems to be working. 
"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own.  Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track."
          Proverbs 3: 5-6

Life after death, working that dead end job, the loss of a loved one, taking that useless History of Art class all seem pointless. For all we know they might be. But have faith, whether it be in yourself, teachers, parents, or God that even though the dots seem scattered, there will come a time when it will all come together. Doubt is natural but don't let it consume you, act in good faith and soon the truth will come to light.


  1. Are you on vacation? I want more.

    1. Sorry love,

      It's hard to talk the talk when I haven't been walking the walk. I'll try to get it together for you, because your worth it ;)


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