We all believe in something. Our beliefs are most often based on our experience, and not limited to lessons taught in school, church, media, or literature. Our beliefs shape our understanding and form the path our life takes. When presented with new ideas and concepts those beliefs are the light with which we examine the new information before assimilating or rejecting it.
However, there are times when old beliefs and new ideas seem to cancel each other out. We shine the light of our beliefs on the new idea, and a blazing laser beam bounces back, blinding us. In modern psychology this is often referred to as cognitive dissonance, which is a state of discomfort when we cannot reconcile our beliefs with the new information, often despite overwhelming evidence.
In my way of thinking about this, it seems that discomfort, that doubt, that questioning of our faith stems from a belief that is too rigid. Some have called this, “putting God in a box.” Others reject God from the equation outright.
My own beliefs do not rely on whether you believe in God or not. It will not alter my faith in the slightest or change the amount of peace I have found and continue to find in my faith.
On the other hand, if you struggle with the concept, or have entered a dark night of doubt because of the voices that argue against the possibility of a spiritual way, let me reassure of one thing. GOD LIKES TO WRESTLE.
I’m not talking about choreographed hi-jinx on TV, but about a willingness, on the part of whatever you call your Higher Power, to reason things out with us. This should be perfectly logical to those who refer to God as “Good Orderly Direction.” For those of us who believe in an omnipotent creator it also tracks as being well within His/Her/Their wheelhouse to already have this new information you are struggling with, which might make acceptance easier.
For me, this was my “Dawn of Faith.” It was the realization that I could doubt God. I could get angry with God. I could question God, and especially what men had taught me about God. God was not threatened or angry by my doubt and questions, nor reactionary to my anger. God welcomed it, and the opportunity to (over time) answer the questions of which I became aware by showing up in situations where I had invited God to participate.
This realization also came with an assurance that I know to be true in my experience. God is faithful, even when I am not.
The Tech Stuff:
The painting DAWN OF FAITH is 30″ x 30″ oils on textured gallery wrap (1.5″ thick) canvas.
The texture came from adding aquarium sand to the gesso layer. I used predominately vertical lines in this painting after a discussion with my friend and master painter, Ernesto Rodriguez. In his opinion, vertical lines conveyed positive emotions. I find this to be as true as the fact that in design theory they also represent and convey strength.
DAWN OF FAITH is currently on exhibit at the Taste Community Restaurant, located at 1200 S. Main, Ft Worth, TX 76104. All proceeds from the sale of this painting go to support the Taste Project. See anyone in attendance for help in your purchase.