It’s my first Harvard snowfall.
I wrestle a lot. With God, with myself, with my beliefs, everything. I have a tendency to question everything, to demand answers, to question what I know. That doesn’t exactly lend itself to contentment. That questioning voice in my mind is never entirely satisfied, is always bringing new doubts and questions to be answered right this very second.
One of the things I’ve been wrestling with is faith. How do I get it? Why do I have so little of it? And, of course, what is it? I wring out and grapple with these questions, and while that’s a good thing, it’s a hard thing as well. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that there are some things I can’t prove. It’s a question that hits me where I am, that makes me question what I actually believe, that forces me to come to God and demand answers. Those prayer times are important, even when I come away seemingly empty-handed. There’s value in this search, but very little peace.
But sometimes… the snow falls.
Sometimes, when we’re most disillusioned and begin to doubt whether God is there at all, we walk out our door and run into Him. No matter how much I ask whether there’s any meaning to life at all, there will still be new snow on the ground, pristine and fresh, and people playing in it, and it will still be beautiful. There is something unarguable in that beauty, something that appeals to something other than my logic, something that yells and shouts that yes, yes He is there, yes there is beauty, yes this isn’t all just delusion and chemicals and matter rushing towards entropic inevitability.
Let no one misunderstand me – we cannot discount logic and knowledge for emotions and intuitions. That struggle for meaning is valuable and inherently Christian. And yet I find myself on the brink of losing something when I demand that I analyze and question every experience. At some point, we all need faith, atheist and Christian alike. We take a leap of faith in saying that we can think, that our senses are accurate, that we can choose between one thing and another. We cannot scientifically or logically prove that science or logic work, that our brains are not deceiving us. But we must act anyway, taking that leap out onto nothing to find something.
Perhaps this is part of the answer to my eternal question – what is faith? Something about snow, and beauty, and knowing things beyond proof. Something along the lines of accepting that we cannot prove that the snow is really there, that we aren’t brains in a vat straight out of “The Matrix.” Something like understanding that the snow is there regardless, and it is beautiful.
Tomorrow I will wrestle with this; for tonight, there are snowballs and friends, and that is wrestle enough.