Committing to a Mystery

You have to love it.  The more we know the more we know there is to know.  A new understanding of the universe always leads to more questions than were answered by the discovery.  In the end we end up committing our lives to what we ultimately don’t know or understand.

I think the ancients who were spiritually astute understood this.  When they talked about faith they did not mean a set of doctrinal statements.  They thought of faith as a commitment to or trust in something they could not fully understand and certainly could not control.

Whether we realize it or not we all still do this.  We each have a vision of what should be.  That vision shapes our values and guides our decision-making.  We have not actually experienced the perfect world we envisioned so we do not understand it fully yet we trust in its rightness enough to let it shape us.

“Until you can prove….I will not believe.”  This kind of challenge from an atheist does not mean they have no faith.  It expresses a faith in human intelligence in the modern way of thinking that everything makes scientific sense – eventually.  It says that what we don’t understand now we will understand someday.

A bigger problem comes up when believers in one vision accuse others of being unbelievers.  What they mean is that others do not believe exactly as they do.  We would all be well advised to recognize that we do not understand everything alike either – even the mystery to which we have committed our lives.  That’s why we call ourselves believers and not knowers.

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