Faith is a journey.
It’s rather an over-used phrase – becoming a cliché, perhaps. The thing about clichés is that they get overused for a reason; often because they carry some truth or at least inevitability. But once they become overused, the words empty out, spilling their meaning and becoming mere automatons: oh, look – that sentence again. Those words, again. That phrase. It becomes about the phrase – becoming more like punctuation than words. Or a title for a stage or compartment of life: my journey of faith. A label, a tab, a header.
That’s the trouble with clichés. They lose their impact.
But there is a journey within faith – at least there should be. Faith does not stand still. I wouldn’t want it to, ever. There is no point where genuine faith says ‘Right. I’ve got it. Done and dusted. Here’s what I think about this and this and this. So there.’ That’s just assumption, stubbornness even. True faith, in my opinion, needs humility and longing.
It needs humility because we are all learning and growing. We have all got rightness and wrongness inside our heads – whether we admit it or not. We are all muddied in our understanding of certain things – whether through lack of knowledge or understanding, whether because we are influenced by our own feelings: we want it to be so, thus it is. Faith needs humility because it understands that it does not have all the answers spelled out. It is still working through them, re-examining them. Faith needs humility to understand that life is not all about the way I think it should be, even if that makes me uncomfortable.
Faith needs longing because it wants to understand. It wants a true view of its goal – its object. For many of us, this is God. And our faith is based on him and his trustworthiness. We long to know him better, and dare I say – we long to know him in spite of what this may do to all our assumptions and feelings and previous understandings. Faith moves – journeys – through longing to know and understand. It recognises there are some things beyond comprehension but this does not stop it wanting to comprehend – looking forward to a time when the murkiness will recede.
Faith thrills at new thoughts and previously undiscovered meaning. Faith enjoys splashing in the shallows but desires to go deeper.
Faith never stands still.
Faith is a journey.