Everyone knows the story of doubting Thomas, I believe (pun totally intended) And this has subsequently been used to describe any person who is always skeptical or slow to believe a fact. A part of that story that I strongly believe has always been neglected is that Thomas was only human and it was only natural for him to entertain some doubts. Now before the religious brigade come to get me, all I’m trying to do is question our perception of this abstract term, faith.
The founding principle that guides Darwin’s evolution, or the Big Bang theory is hard scientific evidence -facts that can be proven and understood without much effort. It would seem more sensible than the fictional creation of the man up there; Big Brother; and the myriad of names that have been used to describe the spiritual entity called God. All forms of religion are based on some version of God and the one feature which ties them together is the blind faith of the followers.
To the logical mind, complete belief in a being that reigns from the clouds and dictates our entire way of life is downright absurd. Because how does one let go, trusting that things will turn out for the better with the help of little parcels called prayers mailed up to this All-knowing, All-seeing God? Health, wealth, death and birth, all controlled by that one ‘god’? So we created viruses, get rich schemes (MMM anybody?), suicide and IVF to defy the seeming natural order of life as ordained by that pesky, meddlesome being.
Desperation gets the better of us, as we flounder like fish out of water, trying to avoid that equally maddening concept called destiny. Our destiny is in our own hands, so the only guarantee of good grades is carrying expo; we chase connections for that dream job; while bagging a hot guy is all about love potions and make-up expertise. I am an unapologetic believer in the saying that God only helps those who help themselves, so faith must not beget laziness; but go in tandem with striving.
While I do admit that true faith comes with a certain degree of unconditional belief -the type that casts aside reason, or logic- I do believe that God created our minds to help us, not become a weapon of self destruction. Before you rely solely on your can-do spirit, ask for some guidance from above. and before you leave it all to supernatural guidance, put in some natural, physical effort. I can relate to this as a job seeker, because I get so lost in the endless applications and hustle that I sometimes forget to just breathe a few words to the One who doesn’t burden a soul beyond what it can bear. In the words of Mark Helprin, “As long as you have life and breath, believe”.