Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘Philosophy’

Doubt. Without it, your faith does not exist.

Red Riding Hood is a deep thinker. She ponders ideas and philosophies, turning them round and round in her beautiful young head until she begins to find the sense, the meaning behind it all.

This is most apparent when it comes to pondering her faith. We feel strongly that it is our duty to teach our children what we believe to be true. If we saw them heading towards certain and imminent death – walking onto a busy highway, for instance – we’d be compelled to stop them, correct them, and show them the right way. The safe way. To save them from certain death. In the same way, it is only right that we teach them what we believe to be the only way to be truly Safe.

Truth first

The truth is like a lion: let it looseHaving said that, we encourage them always to seek the truth. Truth is robust. It cannot be contained. It cannot be ignored. It cannot be denied. It certainly should not be feared. Above all, it must be sought. I encourage my girls to ask questions, to keep digging into all they know, until they are completely satisfied that they have found the truth. And then I encourage them to dig some more. No question is taboo. No answer is too unpalatable to be given.

No matter the cost, we must know the truth. I want to know the truth. I want to believe the truth. It’s not a case of wanting what I believe to be true, although of course I want that. Who wouldn’t want the assurance of knowing that their beliefs are true? And who would wilfully continue to believe something they know to be false, after all?

Quetions are our friends. They lead us to truth. So the girls are never discouraged from asking as many questions as they can think of, to anyone who will take the time answer.

A shaky foundation?

Red Riding Hood has a persistent fear. She is concerned that her faith isn’t real. We’ve covered this ground over and over again, and it’s taken me some time to get to the heart of the problem. This week we had a breakthrough. Even though Red believes in the fundamentals of our faith, sometimes she has doubts. These very doubts provoke the questions of all true truth seekers.

When I understood that, I could address her fears properly for the first time.

The fact is that it is these very doubts that create the need for faith. They justify faith. Without them, all we’d have is knowledge. Knowledge is good and pure, valuable. The Bible tells us that the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. That is the way to pure truth. But faith is a beautiful thing. It brings with it a sense of mystery, an aspect of the divine. Faith sets us apart from the animals. Faith makes us human. It gives us purpose. It gives us hope. Faith gives us the strength to keep going.

Without faith, we are less than we could be. Less than we ought to be.

And if we have no doubt, we cannot have faith. Our doubts define the course of our life’s journey towards truth. But they serve a higher purpose in creating the requirement for a deep, unwavering faith. In these ways they do us a great service.

How about you? Do you ever doubt your faith? Do those doubts make you question the validity of what you hold to be true? I encourage you to recognise those doubts as opportunities for growth. Allow the questions they give rise to to lead you down new paths of enquiry. Embrace the faith that holds you to the truth. And never, ever fear truth. As St Augustine famously said,

“The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself.”

A dose of real

This week I stumbled across a blog which you all have probably read before, called Single Dad Laughing. While it’s focused on finding and sharing the up-side of life and parenting, it also has a number of poignant, honest and moving articles. A lot of what I’ve been reading has sparked a series of ideas for posts, articles, thoughts and debates.

But the one thought that just had to be shared right now, right here, is being real.

I started this blog because I want to unravel the process of being truly happy. I believe true joy – deep, meaningful, lasting joy is an absolute possibility for anybody. I believe that joy and happiness are not the same thing. I believe that joy is not dependant on circumstances or events. It’s not about money or people or places or things. It’s not about what you do, where you do it or why.

I choose joy. I choose to find the good in situations, even when it’s hard. Even when it seems impossible. It IS there, and it can be found.

As I go, I learn. I grow. And then I share it here. Or at least, that’s the idea.

It struck me today that I’ve been sharing the lessons, but not the journey. In many cases, the lessons I’m outlining are for my own benefit, as much as anything. Sort of like an electronic diary.  That’s good. We need records, and tracking progress is a good thing. The problem with this approach, though, is that it can come across as preachy.

I certainly don’t know it all. Far from it. The more I think I’ve figured out, the more there is to know. The world seems to be big and complicated. I’m grasping a thread of truth and unravelling it, following it to its final destination. The more I unravel, the further the journey takes me. It’s fascinating and enlightening at the same time. I feel like I’m staring into a tangled snarl, like the nest of my daughter’s hair in the morning before I take a brush to it. Behind me is a neatly wound ball of sense. The lessons are like little rubber bands holding it all together, but without a clearer picture of the journey, the silver strands of clarity holding it all together, perhaps they don’t make sense.

So I’ve decided to overcome my reticence and be more forthcoming. I’m not talking about indiscretion or immodesty. This won’t be overshare or TMI. But I feel that, for me to have value – both to myself and (hopefully) to any other person, I need to be a lot more real about what happens between where I am now and where I am when that moment of clarity emerges and I can write about it.

I hope you’ll join me for the ride. And let me know what you think (just be nice. You don’t have to agree, just let’s not be mean).

– By Vanessa Davies – daily discovering Joy on a Shoestring.

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