How Do We Make Sense of Faith?

Maude, an elderly woman, had a window seat on a big 747 jetliner.  The flight had just taken off for Rome from New York. She had saved for years to fulfill her dream to visit the Eternal City, but it was her first flight and she was terrified. Even the stately presence of four bishops seated behind her didn’t help.

With fear and trembling, she opened her eyes and peered out the window, just in time to see one of the plane’s four engines break loose from the wing and disappear into the clouds. "We’re going to die!" she cried out. "We’re going to die!"

The stewardess consulted with the pilot, who announced to the passengers that everything was under control, and they would fly back to New York and land safely with three engines. Even with this assurance, Maude continued to cry out, "We’re going to die!" Comforting her, the stewardess said, "Don’t worry, my dear, God is with us. We have only three engines, but look, we have four bishops to pray for us."  To which Maude replied, "I’d rather have four engines and three bishops!"

As human beings, we only feel safe when proven means for our security are visible and physically present to us.  We never feel safe without seeing them.  Just imagining things that could save us isn’t a comfort.  Words, no matter how reassuring they are, don’t help either.  We feel safe only when things we know can protect us are physically present to us.

Ironically, faith asks us to do just that: believe and trust without seeing, and rely on the Word of God when facing the tribulations of life.  It is no wonder that our modern world is becoming increasingly more secular; intellectually, faith (believing in something that is invisible) does not make sense! 

How do we make sense of faith? When we look at our physical world, we know for certain that things don’t last.  Our life on earth doesn’t last long.  Our soul, however, longs for something that lasts forever.  Faith answers that deepest longing of our souls.  We attain peace and joy when we accept and rely on that invisible world of God and His never-ending and abundant love for us.  This faith always leads to joy.

Although we can never be completely free from fear, through faith, God gives us the strength to face the challenges of life when we set our minds on Him. 

Kathryn Richards