Living in this world can sometimes be a frightening experience. We need to trust the society we live in, the people around us, the government, the infrastructure, for so many things. We are an interdependent web where everyone’s actions affect everyone else. We need to trust things which are out of our control. As adults, we regain some control over events, but not total control. If we could control every little thing about our lives and our worlds, I am sure we would each made considerable changes: eliminate poverty, improve infrastructure, change political systems, prioritise the environment, and so on. In a world where everything is not ‘perfect’ and everything is not ‘in our control’, we can often question God’s purpose, or the divine plan. ‘Why does it have to be like this? If there is a God, why doesn’t he make it better?’
After thinking about this long and hard, there are two explanations that are beginning to make sense to me (in relation to God or Universal Consciousness or Source, whatever you like to call the divine influence). The first is the situation of free-will. Life forms are endowed with the freedom to make choices. That means that they are accountable for the results of those choices. That is karma and it is something which teaches us to become responsible, knowledgeful and learn the secrets of creation for ourselves. Eventually, we ourselves learn to be in sync with the divine plan, and let the divine force balance the world out through us.
The second explanation is to do with vision. Only the divine Source has knowledge of past, present and future (free-will can change the future and therefore even prophetic souls cannot make definite predictions). If we could make everything the way we wanted, we would choose whatever is best in the short-term, because our perspective is limited to short-term experiences and consequences. Once we let the divine work through us, things start working out for us, but with a view to long-term progress. That’s why Jesus said, ‘Thy will be done.’ He trusted God more than he trusted himself. He knew that God’s plan could cause him difficulty in the short-term, but in the long-term, there would be some benefit. What that benefit will be cannot always be understood at the time that we call on God, which is why we think God does not listen when we pray.
Faith is the act of accepting that we are not always in control, but that there is some divine force looking out for us if we call on it. Faith does not guarantee a pain-free life, it does not offer extra comfort or immunity from danger. Faith is simply love for the divine plan, which we cannot understand but which creates within us an inexplicable wonder. Faith is love for the ways of the divine, which we get glimpses of every now and then, if we pay attention. Faith allows us to become courageous and strong; it allows us to overcome our fears. Faith beckons the divine force to flow through us so that its will can be done.