One aspect of the faith of others that I find myself wavering back and forth between admiration/jealousy and derision is complete and utter faith. The kind of faith that is immune to logic and reason, impervious to the tendrils of tragedy, unyielding in the face of all that can be proven.
I waver back and forth between these outlooks, depending on what I am struggling with daily, and what I find myself in need of. When I am looking for the comfort of an answer, for the surety of righteousness and the unyielding firmness of dogma, I find myself wallowing in envy for the doubtless faith that others hold.
However, when I am (in those rare moments) more honest with myself, I thank the Lord for the gift of doubt that he has given me. It allows me insight into my weaknesses, and to come closer to an understanding of why my doubt is necessary if I am to follow the path that God continues to reveal to me, bit by bit.
One of the things that I envy in those who have a more unshakeable faith that I is the, perhaps erroneous, belief that they can see, or at least imagine that they can, more of the Lord’s path than I am privy to. Each day, I feel as if I am discovering just enough of the path that He has set forth for me so that I may keep from falling off the mountainside. For those with a deeper faith, I cannot help but believe that they may be able to see far enough to not only keep from tipping off the mountain into oblivion, but to feel confident in the steps that they take.
I am sure that, at least in part, these intimations of mine are fanciful hopes, hopes that I wish to find if God blesses me with a deeper and firmer faith. But I am also aware that this weight of doubt that rests upon my heart at is, at the very least, a call to introspect and try to understand why I doubt. Hopefully, through this doubt, I can be led to understand the task that God has set forth for me.
Continuing with Hope, there are moments where this doubt that I have is tempered by hope, which then, I hope, tempers my faith, and makes it stronger in the face of hardship and challenge as I move forward in life. Hope allows me to try and find a purpose in the doubt, and the purpose that I see is that it allows me to develop an incrementally more profound understanding of why I doubt. Oftentimes, the reason for my doubt is not a doubt for the Providence of God, but a doubt at my ability to serve Him faithfully. I know that I am unable to do so, at least not always, and when my doubt is strong, it says that if I am unable to faithfully serve God at all times, then it is not worth it at all. When my doubt is tempered by hope, I can see that the moments of weakness, the failures, the missteps and sinning is a chance for me to look inwards at how I can be a better man, and look outwards as to how I can create a life and existence that is more conducive to living a holy, purposeful and God centered life.
When my doubt is tempered by hope, it has the chance to temper my faith and lead me to a place of firmer belief, more active worship, more engaged living and a more honest account of my inherent sinfulness. When doubt is tempered by hope and faith by the hopeful doubt, then perhaps I may be able to find my way to a more meaningful journey of faith.