For several years, I’ve imagined that my first sermon would be about faith. Now, I’m not looking for an opportunity to preach, but in my imagination I see myself at the pulpit. It starts something like this:
“There was a time in my life when I knew what was true.”
That’s about as far as I’ve gotten with the sermon itself. The ideas are all there; just not the words. It’s pretty much about growing up in a church that professes to be God’s one and only true church on the face of the Earth, and knowing that it was. I was taught about faith, hope and charity; that faith is the belief in things hoped for but not seen. But because I knew the truth, faith and hope were very abstract ideas that I had a hard time really understanding because…well, I already knew. I didn’t hope it was true; I knew it was true.
When I realized one day that I didn’t actually know anything, my whole worldview came apart. I didn’t have a faith in what I believed to fall back on; faith in my beliefs never really existed. Instead, I now realize, I had faith only in myself and what I thought I knew. When that came into doubt, there was nothing else.
I’m an Episcopalian now, and I’ve come to understand the importance of faith a bit better. There are times when I feel a bit unsure about my path with God, but I think that’s the point. I think the point of faith is precisely the “unsurety” of it all, the simple belief in something bigger than myself; and the hope that how I choose to live my life based on what I learn from others’ experiences and knowledge, combined with my own experiences and feelings, wins the support and approval of my God.