The trick of the world, as it often prevails over us, is convincing us that we cannot live without its modern pleasures, its dignifying dispositions, or its superficial caring.
Though as a populace we’re fiercely independent, often criticising people for their dependence on God, we, in fact, are more comprehensively dependent on our worlds than we readily realise. Many hardly conceive that living the best life is about enjoying the little things, the invisible things, even the hard things:
“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.”
~Helen Keller (1880–1968)
The Open-Minded Approach
Our reticence to live the simplest of lives comes across mainly because we don’t furnish our imaginations. Additionally, we’re attracted by our comforts. But there’s certainly more to life than what we can see, feel, hear, taste, or touch.
Whenever we struggle in life, notwithstanding the pain we feel which is real, if we hold out hope that there is more to be experienced we can experience a hope beyond knowledge. That is, we might feel strangely hopeful without reason or explanation.
This is a faith-impelled hope. It’s a hope borrowed from the hands of time, and nobody can understand it besides us. And all it took to procure such a hope was an open mind; one that chose to see the open vista—a stilled lake, a bristling sunset, a meandering stream, waves crashing at the shore—instead of the vapid silence, the dark corner, or the musty closed-in space of a damp immovable mind wanting comfort alone.
Converting A Thought Into A Vision To Be Retained
“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.”
A moment’s hope seems much less difficult than retaining it through faith. The strength of faith will work when we have a solid image, a vision no less, which is reason to strive forwardly for. And as we repetitively come back to this vision, training our mind to think this way, faith becomes our method. We begin to believe there is a way through—even in the presence of nothing but thin air.
As we prove to ourselves that faith is enough through the struggle, our hope is fortified, because the reason for our hope has been established. It works.
When all else fails, and there may be little foreseeable to live for, because all our meaning is called into question, there is a way to the next place of meaning.
Hope and faith combine, especially in matters of struggle. When belief sets our mood, to fix on getting through when there’s no apparent reason to, we learn there’s more to life than the visible hope the world provides.
When there’s precious little to believe in,
And our struggles redeem thin air,
Faith fortifies our hope,
If only we’ll hopefully dare.
With nothing now to lose,
And an untold mystery to gain,
Our future inflates with hope,
And by faith through which to sustain.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.