I don’t think that people really understand the power there is in believing something. I’m not talking about shallow belief, where someone might say he or she believes a particular thing but doesn’t act like it. I’m talking about real belief, and it is scary stuff.
Real belief changes you. Really changes you.
And it is not easy, or convenient, or even desirable a lot of the time. I would even argue it is scary, very very scary, and even depressing.
Take myself, for example. I believe that what I have to say is valid and I believe that I can change the world with my words. I think every author has that idealistic, fighting against the world mentality in some way. If not, I think writing would be less fun, and who wants to do something that is not fun? That would be work (Isn’t it the truth?).
Where does belief begin? I think it begins with a wish. A wish in the heart, secretly whispered in our souls, which blossoms into a thought, and then thoughts turn into words. Words are the most powerful thing. It was not the pen which was mightier, it was the words which said pen was writing. People tend to overlook that interpretation.
Real belief is work. It can be fun, but at the end of the day we spend a lot of energy and thought, careful musing and (mostly silent) praying for our beliefs to be verified, either by experts or some tangible, if not reasonable, sign. It is not usually easy, as a result, because it is something that demands constant attention. Some people think they are all grown up and don’t change after a certain point. But just because your mother has let you go your own way does not mean you can stop caring for yourself in a similar fashion. Belief calls for affirmation, ceaseless diligence, and intentional response. If nothing is done to maintain yourself, at the end of the day you will find yourself swallowing everything, eventually ending with a two-faced, double-minded perspective on a variety of ideals. I know because I have been there. Several times. Friends with the doorman at this point.
One of the reasons I believe in Christianity – not the function, not the instituationalized, in-a-specific-building-type Christianity – is just because it upholds the impossible.
Impossible that something should come from nothing.
Impossible that meaning should run deeper than intuition.
Impossible that a holy God, an absolute good, would be betrayed.
Impossible that the betrayers would be given a way to stasify the righteous demands of justice while receiving mercy.
Impossible that God would become a man.
Impossible that God, as a man, would die.
Impossible that God, resurrected, would renew the mandate of humanity.
Impossible that belief is the beginning of much more than meaning.
There is power in the impossible when the supernatural intervenes. That we even have a term for it – miraculous – would suggest this reality.
And fully accepting this belief of the impossible paradoxically makes the impossible possible. It changes you.
Whatever people believe, I only ask them to consider it carefully. I had a nice wake-up call, with Doubt banging on the door of my mind several years ago, thanks to an unnamed high school acquaintence who showed me some very very important things about belief.
But I invited Doubt in, and we sat down, and we hashed it out, and in the end, I can say it was hard, it was not pleasant, and it was terrifying at several points, but I could almost see that transcendiant smile from across the chasm.
Real belief is a new beginning that leads to true change.