Belief in something without proof. A feeling that things will work out, no matter what the present circumstances look like. Giving away one’s treasures to the first stranger you meet on the road in the dark of night. All of these are examples of faith, in varying degrees. We all learn by testing this faith and having our own belief tested. Some of this is innate, while the whole of life at times seems like finding the right level and balance of childlike wonder.
- Have you thought about why you believe what you believe?
- How do belief and doubt, certainty and uncertainty, work together to form and strengthen our faith?
- Do you think of faith as a passive or active pursuit?
- Is it easier to believe in something when you are a beginner, or when you have more experience?
- When you think of believing and trusting, what are you thinking about?
- A higher power
Quotes to Ponder:
“The way to see faith is to shut the eye of reason.” Benjamin Franklin
“To believe only possibilities is not Faith, but mere Philosophy.” Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
“Who knows most, doubts most.” Robert Browning (his personal motto)
“Know ye what it is to be a child?… It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of baptism; it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief.” Percy B. Shelley, Letters
“Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.” H.L. Mencken, Predjudices
“You know that if you get in the water and have nothing to hold on to, but try to behave as you would on dry land, you will drown. But if, on the other hand, you trust yourself to the water and let go, you will float.” Alan Watts, The Way of Liberation
- Bunyan, John. Pilgrim’s Progress. 1678.
- Butler, Samuel. The Way of All Flesh. 1903.
- Robinson, Marilynne. Gilead. 2004.
- Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. 1852.
- Waugh, Evelyn. Brideshead Revisited. 1944.
- Johnson, Fenton. Keeping Faith: a skeptic’s journey among Christian and Buddhist Monks. Houghton Mifflin, 2003.