A fundamental question

Why Faith?

Why believe in God? That’s always been a question people have asked, but today the answer is harder to find than it used to be.

Not many years ago, we would have been surrounded by things which encouraged us to believe: stores closed on Sundays, church bells rang in the morning, and everyone knew friends and family who went to church. These things may not have made us believe, but they would have encouraged us at least to consider it. Now, most of us can go through our day without even thinking about whether there is a God. So, why believe?

People will give different reasons for why they came to faith, and for why it continues to attract them. For many, the first promptings of faith come from the sense that there is something deep lying under the surface of life: that there is something more profound which keeps breaking into everyday experience, and which made makes us want to know more.

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying: “that’s when things got real”. It’s a way of describing a situation where things suddenly escalate to the highest level of seriousness. One moment you’re in love with a girl and enjoying hanging out. The next moment she asks you: “where is this relationship going? Do you love me?” Things just got real.

That might be a sad moment, where the good times start grinding to a halt. Or it may be a beautiful moment, where you give voice to the deep feelings of love which had lain under the surface. But whether a beautiful or terrible moment, it is definitely meaningful. Someone has reached into your world and forced you to consider bigger things than your own amusement.

We often have moments like this in life: maybe you find out you’re pregnant, or you’re diagnosed with an illness, or you get your dream job. They are all very different experiences, but in each of them there seems to be something in common. It’s a sense that you’re coming up against something real and meaningful.

The journey to faith begins when you start to suspect that these aren’t just random experiences: you start to consider that these times are pointing to some deeper meaning which lies under the surface of life. Faith begins when you start to say to this Something or Someone: “I want to see more”.

If you’re not sure about faith, maybe that would be a good place to start. Start by considering those times when something really meaningful broke into your life. Didn’t those times fill you with a sense of longing, as if there was something there which you couldn’t quite put your finger on? Why not try asking if there is someone behind it all, and if there is something they’re trying to tell you? Perhaps you’ll see what people of faith have seen, and begin a journey that makes you hungry for more than what everyday life can bring.