[The following reflection, written by our Theologian in Residence Edward Dunar, appears in today’s issue of the Craigville Chronicle]
In an informative article two weeks ago, the Red Lily Pond Project team informed us about the importance of moving water. Cool, flowing water gathers oxygen that fish need to breath and helps maintain a healthy balance in the pond’s ecosystem.
I found this detail striking because it parallels the messages we’ve been hearing from the pulpit during worship this summer. Last week, Rev. Dr. Ed Deyton urged us to dig deep as we notice evidence of injustice around us. Two weeks ago, Rev. Eric Henderson exhorted us to boldly soar in our faith rather than “just hopping around.” Just as our ponds need moving water to stay healthy, our spiritual lives need to keep moving to keep us attentive to God’s vision for our lives.
We often make the mistake of equating faith only with certitude. While it is true that faith gives us a sense of confidence and comfort that sustains us during difficult times, faith is even broader than that. Faith is a gift that equips us to walk on God’s path. Faith gives us energy to serve God’s vision of love and justice in the world.
Rev. Bernard Lonergan, a Canadian Jesuit, encouraged his readers to follow four precepts when thinking through their faith: Be attentive! Be intelligent! Be rational! Be responsible! When we learn something new that challenges our perspective and our beliefs, we need not feel threatened by the challenge. Instead, we can continue digging boldly, assured that God will always support and sustain us in our search for truth. Having faith does not mean finding answers and stopping. It means continuing to grow deeper in love with God, knowing that questions or doubt are signs of a strong faith and a thirst for God’s truth and justice.