Certainty is something we like to have and depend on. We are simply never promised or even given certainty every day.
"Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life: gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life." - Ozzie (Oswald Chambers) We are certain of God: we are uncertain of what will happen next. There is much to be said of faith and the spiritual life as it applies to certainty.
We are so obsessed with certainty. Is it really all that necessary? Well, its not if you are living a life of faith...the spiritual life. The spiritual life is not one of certainty. The moments I am so uncertain of what would happen next are the moments my faith is stretched and made stronger.
When you stretch your muscles they grow. They do not necessarily grow stronger and bigger, but they do grow more flexible, which allows them the ability to grow stronger in time.
So here I am a man in need of flexibility. I am a man in need of faith...because I am certainly uncertain. These are now the times of becoming more flexible, and that flexibility makes strength more available. That ability ultimately leads to strength.
"There is a difference between 'rational certainty' and 'blessed assurance'; blessed assurance is stepping out on nothing and landing on something."
This week I will be highlighting a few quotes from Dr. Cornel West; one of today's most provocative thinkers. He is a champion for racial justice as well as a strong advocate for the poor and marginalized.
The quote above is a favorite of mine as it truly strikes at the core of faith. It is a reminder that one of the absolute ingredients of faith is risk. Faith is a trust, and to trust anything or anyone there must be a risk you are willing to take. You have to step out on something. If you have not taken some sort of risk, it is not trust. It is not faith. You have to step out on nothing to land on something, and once you land on something you get the assurance and affirmation of that trust. But it does not happen in the opposite order.
Dr West also said,"There is always an element of doubt in your faith because it is not always all about you. You are acknowledging something greater than you."
Jesus said the greatest commandment before us is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Wonder and awe are love languages of the soul. To have faith is to acknowledge that God is bigger and beyond you. It is to acknowledge that he does not fit into the constraints of your ability to comprehend with your left brain logic. It is to step out with our right brain imagination and wonder.