Friday, November 16, 2007
Since the post on doubt seemed to resonate, I thought I would continue the thread by trying to describe in simple terms the things that hold my faith together. Each of these gets buffeted with their fair share of doubt, but these are the sign posts that keep pointing me in the same direction. If I may add, to any readers that may disagree with my position, please don’t read this as an attempt to proselytize you or change your mind or push my religion. See this as a forty-something guy trying to figure out a way to make sense of the life that he is living and what to do with what has been given to him. Walk with me a little ways before trying to refute. That’s all I ask. I’m no philosopher or scientist, but the one deep question I cannot get past is, “How did we get here?” Some would say by chance or evolution or some mathematical randomness, but these kinds of explanations take too much trust for me to embrace. These raise more unanswered questions for me than I am comfortable living with. It makes more sense to me to believe that Something created us and all the floating orbs that we see and specifically the blue and green one we move in. The universe is too vast and too complex for me to make the leap into embracing zillions of years of tiny incremental changes from single cell organisms to the current ability to cure disease and put a man on the moon. That may be easy for you, but I can’t get there. For some minds, there are huge barriers to starting with this belief. The idea of origin seated in a Divine location cannot be tested empirically or scientifically; therefore that belief must be rejected. I’m OK with that. Science needs to play by its own rules. But personally I still find this terribly limiting, because I am cutting myself off from a body of information that won’t fit in my test tube. Science has answered a lot of questions for us, but it also has left many unanswered, and I don’t want science to be my salvation. Nor do I want religion to be my salvation It has to come back to faith. What am I willing to stake my life on? Like you, everyday I have to get up in the morning. And as I sit on the edge of the bed, feeling the stiffness of aging joints and muscles, this is when I become most philosophical. Why not just lay back down and go back to sleep? To gather a paycheck at that point is adequate motivation some of the time, but more and more it seems a little small juxtaposed against the mysteries that appear as if they are standing at the foot of the bed. By faith, I hold on to the idea that I was created on purpose, that my starting point wasn’t just due to a molecular lottery. Doubts still exist. Questions still arise. Books have been written against it. College profs will forever make fun of it, but I figured out long ago that they don’t get to make my decisions. That’s my privilege.