It’s proverbial, the old man who realizes he knows very little, if anything.
Well, that’s me.
Disconcerting, to realize you’re not nearly as wise as you thought. But, potentially freeing as well.
So, I’ve started an exercise–and it’s just that, an exercise–in which I am going to write 100 short missives about what I know. Doesn’t mean what I think I know is true, of course, but I’m hoping these writings will be a decent shot at what I’d tell my children if I was still telling them things. Things I’d sure as heck be telling my younger self if I could get to him.
I’m revisiting this because my ship’s been caught in a bit of a dead zone for awhile–not near enough wind blowing–and while I enjoy a calm sea as much as anyone, I need to get some gustier wind in my sails.
I don’t know if I’ll share all 100 THINGS I KNOW or not, but I’m up to about 15 so far, and we’ll see how it goes. If something’s resonating with readers, great. If not, I’ll know a new thing.
I’m starting with #4. Enjoy.
WE ARE DESIGNED FOR FAITH
Knowledge is necessarily limited. We have cognitive capacity limits. We have a limited range of experience. We will never have access to enough data, testimony, and proof to claim we know the truth about both the seen and unseen realms of life’s existence.
While it is plain that our knowledge may be sufficient to help us work, plan, love, and conduct our relationships with effectiveness and profit, it remains true that there are many ways to live a life, and in our best choosing of moral, social, religious, and economic standards and truths, we may be wrong.
Given our inability to be exhaustive with knowledge, faith comes into play. We must put our faith in the stories we weave around facts, testimonies, and data, believing in the particular synthesis that suggests itself to us.
Somehow this being designed for faith is part of the overall meaning of being human.
For me, it underlines and reframes the apostle Paul’s statement that knowledge passes away, and that faith is one of the final three things that remain.
That being said, the statement “We are designed for faith”, while it implies a designer, does not refer to religious faith necessarily. Regardless of what we believe, we all come to the end of knowledge and must, at some point, begin to act in faith according to the way we tell the story of what it means to be human.
Final note: this is no excuse for the abandonment of knowledge. We must keep looking, by all means.