“Faith is not a flower to be plucked; it is a mountain to be climbed.”
This is actually a variation on an old Buddhist saying about wisdom, but it could truly be said about anything worth having.
True faith requires devotion, discipline and, above all else, application. One may, at some pivotal moment in their life, come to fully accept a system of beliefs, be they Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. and from that point forward endeavor to live their life in response to those beliefs. However, true faith lies not in that initial moment of embarking but rather within one’s continued refinement of his/her understanding of those beliefs through study, practice and reflection.
A wedding is a golden moment in a couple’s lives, but within the context of a lifelong partnership, it lays at the bottom- not the top- of the hill. When the honeymoon is over, as most of us know, the real work truly begins. So it is with faith. Once you have decided, at least at some fundamental level, what you truly believe; the climb, the real work, begins in earnest.
For Christians, this means progressing beyond the bible stories we learned in Sunday School as children, and allowing our faith to mature through self-scholarship, experience and consistent reflection on the world around us; a world that each of us views through the variegated filters of our own understanding and experience. Most importantly, it requires regular and intimate conversations with God.
I am completely aware of where I began. As faith journeys go, I truly started from the deepest of valleys. That said, I also feel a strange sense of exhilaration as if there is some momentum either pushing me from behind or pulling me forward toward the unseen paths ahead. I have given my way over to God, and I now look forward, in great anticipation, to the climb.