Winter is still here. Yes, the calendar says it’s been spring for a while, but the snow, ice, and cold temperatures tell us different. As a gardener, it’s pretty much pins and needles right now trying to not plant anything. After last year’s disastrous results with my seedlings (don’t keep seedlings on a table directly over a furnace vent), it’s a practice in patience and an exercise in restraint to not get the dirt out and start. The problem is the snow is still too deep, and while last year it might have been a good time to start seeds now, the snow is going to take longer to melt, the ground is going to thaw later, so it seems prudent to start later.
This is faith. Frustrating, yes, but faith none the less. Faith that in time things will return to the way they need to be for growth, greenness, and that wonderful quiet place in my back yard that smells ever so green and fragrant and is cool and calm even during the warmest days of summer.
It’s not a coincidence that this virtue also comes during Holy Week. Today is Good Friday, the commemoration of the Passion of Jesus. It’s a monumental thing for many of us as Christians to consider, to contemplate, to try and fathom. But for me, this in many way deepens the kind of gap.
I have absolutely no doubt in the existence of God. To me, its an innate idea that has always been present. In my early childhood, I knew Jesus in the same kind of way, but as I traveled through my faith journey, what I found was that there was a kind a wall that exists between what I know with absolute certainty and what I know with the certainty of faith.
You’re going to ask, what’s the difference?
And I wish I could give you a convincing explanation, but the reality is I’m not sure that I can. It comes down to knowing on an almost gut instinct kind of level that the story of the Bible makes sense, the acts of ritual and purpose of contemplative life seem to draw me closer to a relationship with the Divine that fulfills me. To know God is to know Jesus. The space, the gap that exists is simply the reason why faith carries me.
It’s sort of like that exercise of falling backwards and trusting that someone will catch you. The moment when you take the risk and allow yourself to go backwards, not 100% sure that you’re going to be caught, but not giving into that negativity that holds you back from taking the risk.
As the Easter season matures, we’re all called into an examine of what we believe, why we choose our beliefs, how those beliefs shape us and our actions, what it is that we as people can alter or change to reflect a more accurate rendering of what we believe.
May God bless you and your family this Easter Holiday.
Pax et Bonum!