Faith, not logic.

I think a lot about life, not necessarily about the origins of it, but the point of it. I went to do the alpha course last year, it was an amazing experience and I definitely recommend it to everyone (Atheists, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians a like). It’s a place to explore and share ideas and hear other people’s points of views, and there is no obligation to accept anything or even to continue going. In the first week they usually ask you a question: “If you could ask God one question, what would it be?” Initially I couldn’t think of just one question, but when it go to my turn I blurted out, ‘Why did you create us?’ every looked at me with bobbing heads, somewhat in agreement. I continued, ‘Like, you’re God and you don’t actually need us for anything, why did you bother to create us?’
I am a Christian, and I have been for a little while now, about two years. I still have questions like that, and I am not sure there will ever be a direct answer to my question. I’ve looked into what the ‘world’ has to offer as an answer for my creation, and often times I find that the world believes there was no reason, we are because we just are. The church offers the answer, God created us to do his will, to go out and share the good news. Which I find as a slightly more fulfilling explanation, but it still doesn’t answer my question. I think and I reason, had we never been created in the first place we would have never succumbed to sin and there would be no need for the good news, because everything would be good.
I have resolved that ignorance is not bliss, but neither is logic. The Christian faith is not logic, it does not claim to be. Logic is, by definition, reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principles of validity. Faith, which is completely opposed to that is, strong beliefs based on spiritual conviction rather than proof. The Christian faith is complicated and possibly almost unbelievable, but it is real. C.S. Lewis, puts it like this:
It is no good asking for a simple religion. After all, real things are not simple. They look simple, but they are not. The table I am sitting at looks simple: but ask a scientist to tell you what it is really made of-all about the atoms and how the light waves rebound from them and hit my eye and what they do to the optic nerve and what it does to my brain-and, of course, you find that what we call “seeing a table” lands you in mysteries and complications which you can hardly get to the end of.’ (Mere Christianity, 1943)
As a Christian you will believe that the Bible is the word of God. Where God says, in Isaiah 55:8-9, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher that you ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” He is telling us that this is complicated; this is not a thing that we could completely understand like a mathematics equation or something we could test and manipulate like a scientific hypothesis.
It is not merely a religion, it is a faith and faith is not logic. It does is not influenced by our biology, nor will it originate in our intellect, it cannot be enhanced by our passions or diminished by our possessions. Whether we know about it or not, whether we understand it or not whether we believe it or not it is the truth. It is real. He is speaking to us as the creator and He is telling us, it does not matter, that we cannot work it out. It is not simple enough for the human mind, it does not matter that we do not understand everything, we don’t have the full picture and we never will, and that’s okay because we can trust Him, He knows it all, and He loves us.
God tells us to ‘walk by faith and not by sight,’ in 1 Corinthians 5:7, because He knows that sight, our understanding, our wisdom, our hypothesis and our theories will not help us get any closer to truth. There is far more to our existence than what we see, feel, think and understand. Oftentimes our sight is limited because we look for truth in one place, in one dimension or one realm, or whatever else you might like to call it. And when entities of another place, realm or dimension are communicated to us where we are we disbelieve it because it is not something that we have seen before. We value our own sight and knowledge too much to consider the Other.
So the Christian faith believes in God as the creator of the world, although our sight and logic gives us reason to question, and when the reality of the faith appears to be complicated to make sense of. We believe because we have closed our eyes and seen beyond the element that is immediately before us. Our faith helps us to acknowledge that there are other realities in life that we cannot see yet and that we cannot understand yet. This is because they are realities created by the Creator, who told us that the way we think will not comprehend His understanding or His reason.
I’m only just learning that in spite of the things I can see, or test, or understand, it is not these things that should influence my beliefs. We live in an age where everything must have a reason or a purpose, where the answer must be understandable or evidenced, where seeing is believing and for many that is where it ends. Not for me. My faith is not a matter of logic.


It’s a timely matter

Let’s get straight to the point because we don’t have much time, or should I say, I am running out of time so I’m going to be quick. Or maybe not, because time to really bask in a moment or in an activity is just as important as anything else I have planned. 

If 2014 taught me anything it was that time is an important, possibly the most important, element in life. But like many other important mysteries of life we overlook in it a hurry to move on to the next task and then the next task and then the next task.

I worked my life away while I was at university. As you do. In my final year especially, in the first two weeks I got burned out. I had no time for people, I had no time for ‘church stuff’ besides the sunday service, I even quit my job becasuse I just didnt have time for it. And eating, eating became a burden, I would go the entire day, maybe even two, without eating and I would get annoyed when my stomach felt like death, because then I would have to make time to eat. This is an extreme example of course, but time and I were estranged and it was doing me little good.

The month after those first two weeks I took a perspective of life that I didn’t have before. I found that time is important for my wellbeing. So I took a break. Oh how I enjoyed my self. I got to say yes to every invitation, I ate loads, made smoothies every day, learned to bake, travelled a bit, my list goes on and on, but I am sure you get the gist. This went on for a month and then found myself way behind in my work.

I went from extremely stressed to extremely free back to extremely stressed. I knew that I would have to catch up again. But I needed a balance.

Luckily, in my time of ‘freedom’ I met a guy. We became really close, and he really taught me to chill out. To be honest I think he chilled out way too much, and he thought I never ever chilled out. So we were good together. In each other we found a balance of work time and down time.

The bible tells us that there is a time for everything in Ecclesiastic 3. There is a time for work, but work cannot be all that we do, we must have time to play. Solomon puts it, ‘what do people really get for all their hard work?” Ecclesiastes 3:9. Meaning yes you must work and work hard, but when will you reap what you have sown? When will you spend what you have earned? And not only spend it, but enjoy it? Solomon continues saying, “there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.” (V12) but of course you can’t enjoy what you have reaped if there is nothing to reap because you have sown nothing. Remember God made him the wisest man that ever lived, so surely this is some credible advice.

As Christians we are freed from the entrapments of societies demands on us. Jesus himself said ‘my purpose is to give you a rich and satisfying life’ John 10:10. It’s very unlikely that we will experience life as richly as we could if we continue to let time to pass away in chains. We are told to ‘go out into all the world and preach the gospel’, but we cannot go anywhere if we are stuck in our busy busy ‘I don’t have time’ routines. It’s important to spend time with people. Genuine time, where you sit and you listen and you let them take as long as you need. Jesus did. He would be on his way, with his own plans to pursue but someone who needed him simply had to ask that he would remain with them for a time and he would. Check out Luke 24:13-34 (particularly v 28 – 9)The Road to Emmaus.

So for 2015, and onwards make a point of having time for fun, for praying, for people, for learning, for teaching, for meditating, for helping, for working and for whatever else you find you would like to do.