Last weekend I found a fascinating full page spread in the National Post outlining world religions. There are proportional circles representing various religions throughout the world: some familiar, some completely unfamiliar. (The link if you’re interested: http://life.nationalpost.com/2012/03/23/graphic-a-demographic-breakdown-of-the-world-of-religion/)
What struck me is the commonality of a belief in a higher power. Now I realize that there are 146 million people who ascribe to atheism. But the other 6 billion 3 hundred million believe in ‘something’. What does that tell us? As humans we seek, search for and perhaps even desire a higher power. We seek explanation. We seek order. We seek comfort in something larger than ourselves.
I don’t always believe in or support everything the church does or says. I also know that our varying beliefs have been the cause of much conflict throughout history. I know that to reconcile the evolution theory versus the creation theory is a daunting task. Yet, regardless of all of this, my faith continues to be a source of comfort. Though I cannot explain my faith, it is ever present within me. Though I cannot answer questions explaining ‘why it is so’ or even ‘how it is so’, I continue to believe.
Who am I to purport that my beliefs are the correct ones? After all, I was born into my faith. It was not a choice I made. And yet, my faith provides me with much comfort. When I face uncertainty, sadness or confusion in my life, I am comforted by my belief in something bigger than myself. I have faith that there is a reason for the suffering or pain in our world though I don’t claim to like it or understand it. Watching our parents lose the ability to walk, talk and eat… hearing about the sufferings of our young students… witnessing tragic loss or abusive behaviour… the inability to have children… dealing with addiction or poverty… these are situations most of us would certainly rather avoid.
Yet, it is through my faith that I am able to provide comfort and support to those around me. It is through my faith that I find strength. Ultimately, it is through my faith that I have come to realize that these situations, tragic as they are, shape us into who we are today, making us more humble, kindhearted and compassionate.
Though it remains a mystery, my faith endures.