Conversations on faith and spirituality don’t necessarily have to be complicated. Perhaps you’ve had the frustrating experience of trying to read or listen in on these types of conversations and felt alienated and confused. Maybe you’ve tried to have these conversations and find yourself getting lost. The key to clarity is to remember why we are having these conversations.
We cannot avoid faith and spirituality because these are connected to some of the most foundational building blocks of being human. The point is not to try to understand every philosopher and theologian that fills the library bookshelves. The point is to take an honest look at who and what we are as people, and then ask yourself, “How does my worldview explain this experience? What do I believe about this and why?”
To be human is to long for love, meaning, purpose, belonging and truth. These are the unavoidable experiences of life. We may all experience these things in various degrees. We may describe these experiences in different ways. But we all have them. These are the facts of our inner lives. Now the greatest question which determines how we see these experiences and what we do with them is, “Why?”. Why am I built this way? How does my view of life explain the presence of these longings and needs?
This simple question forms the basis and drive of nearly all philosophical and religious thought. No matter how complex a book or idea is its most likely trying to answer this simple question.
Once we understand this we open the door to discussing and thinking about our faith and spirituality more clearly. At the end of the day, we don’t care of proving certain ideas and making complex arguments. When all is said and done, we look at our own hearts, and we long for a way to make sense of it; we seek a story that brings it all together. The ultimate question is not, “How can I prove my beliefs to others?” Rather it is, “How can I prove my beliefs to myself?”
So its quite simple really. At the end of the day we are all asking the same questions. Often times we jump to defending certain ideas or refuting others, but we haven’t even taken the time to simply face our own answers. Do I really believe this? Does it really make sense? Why do I see things the way that I do? If I am achieving real conviction in the answers that I face, I probably won’t have a hard time sharing that conviction with others.