When you can’t find a way forward, when it is absolutely dark, look within. That’s where you will find the light. That’s what is called faith.
A young friend’s Facebook status this morning read: “Digging deep to dig yourself out of a hole.” I commented as follows on it: “Vaani and I can relate to this – I see it as digging in deep with faith – faith in creation, that if you have been created, you will be taken care of, provided for…as for the getting out of the hole, well, that’s what keeping the faith is all about!”
We have, for long, been conditioned to understand that faith is what we have in an “external” energy or object, oftentimes a.k.a God. So, in times of crisis, when Life comes to a grinding halt, when you are circumstantially cornered, your faith, as you understand it, also becomes questionable. The external energy, God, whatever, doesn’t physically come to your rescue – at least not in the way you expect it! And so, you question whether there really is a God? Whether there really is a Higher Energy? We have all gone through these tests. We have all, in a fit of rage, when it appeared that Life was most certainly over, declared that God is blind, that the God-theory is all hog-wash and that your faith has been misplaced. There’s nothing wrong with such a response to Life in trying, and excruciating, hopeless, situations. It is but natural to vent your frustration especially when matters relating to faith are concerned.
So, is keeping the faith a really futile exercise? Actually, to answer this question, you must re-examine how you define faith.
Faith is not what you project externally. Faith is a deeply personal resource which can be found only when you look within. You don’t normally understand this because of the way you approach Life. Consider this: something challenging happens in your Life – you lose your job, you suffer a serious health setback, you lose someone you love, your business is badly hit or any other context. Immediately, the focus, the examination of the event, is through external reference points. Any effort to deal with the situation is also driven by external coordinates. Rarely is there an inquiry within. I remember, when things started going wrong in our business, we went around on pilgrimages for months on end. We went to people who advised us how the apartment we lived in needed redesign (actually, re-engineering!), how our Firm’s name had to be changed and so on. We were taken to someone who advised me to wear rings on my fingers, in both hands. I have nothing against any of these efforts that we undertook or the advice we received. Except, to complete the story, none of these efforts helped our failing business – and we eventually went bankrupt! But I am not bitter or ridden by guilt over what we tried. I am only transparently sharing here the journey we undertook, to reinforce my point that we always look outside for answers, for solutions.
My learning from Life has been that faith is knowing that “if you have been created, you will be provided for.” Now, sometimes, what you are provided for, is not what you want or expect. At such times you have to remember that this is what Life has planned for you – so that you can learn and grow from each experience.
I am not against religion or an external-God theory. But I will champion any day, from personal experience, that in Life’s darkest hours, the road that you will find fully illuminated, and inviting, is the one that leads you within. Being on that road does not mean that all your problems in the material world will cease to exist. Being on that road, however, surely means that you will be more capable, and feel more confident, of dealing with all those problems. Because that road always leads to inner peace – the most precious reward that those with faith can ever hope to get!