Tuesday, October 09, 2012

In Praise of Simplicity

I do not have a simple faith. My faith has, for as long as I can remember, been guided by philosophical and theological speculation and introspection. I have found it hard to merely believe, instead I must know. This has been quite hard on me, as it has led down many wrong roads and to serious doubt of myself, of God, and of what I am doing at any given point in time. It has led to discontentment, to depression, and to despair. Yet, I wouldn't trade it for the world: our Lord is preparing me for something that I cannot yet ascertain.

However, I have regularly envied those with a "simpler" faith. I don't mean by this "unthoughtful" or "naive" or even "unstudied," but rather intend to imply a genuineness and a level of trust that I cannot totally fathom. These are the folks who get it without having to unravel all the mysteries of the faith. How is the bread and wine at the same time the Body and Blood of our Lord? How is God one, yet three, yet one? How do the two natures of Christ interact and cohere without confusion or division? These are the things that vex me. But there are those that can recite the Creed, read the Scriptures, and pray knowing that these things are true and they are vouched by God Himself: that is enough.

What bliss!

I often wonder if the difference is that these have met God and so know without knowing, whereas I am still searching for Him.

1 comment:

Dave Ketter said...

Interesting thoughts here, Russ. Reading this, I'm not sure if I'm more like where you are or more like those you describe...I suspect that it's a mix, depending on the issue at hand.

But what I've observed in Church history and in several mothers and fathers in faith will hopefully encourage you: those who struggle to know, to wrestle with the complexity of their faith are gifted and appointed by the Spirit to especially build up the faith of those who do not share their struggles. So, brother, as you continue to wrestle and strive to know, recognize that your actions are sacramental for your brothers and sisters, building up their faith.