Faith is a funny thing. It requires us to extend our perception beyond that which we know to exist. From the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze to the biting frigidness of arctic waters and from the comfort of company within the harbor of familiarity to the open desolation of strangers amidst uncertainty, what we percieve as “real” is quite powerful.
Consider, for a moment, what you consider to be powerful. Is it the furious rush of a tornado? Perhaps it’s the impressive shearing force of a major earthquake. One might consider a massive nuclear explosion to be powerful, but compare that to a 100 foot tidal wave miles wide bearing down on land at 300 miles an hour- which is more powerful? Ponder the power of the sun 9 million miles away warming our entire planet hundreds of degrees above absolute zero, then consider it as a super nova obliterating that same planet and at least half of the ones orbiting it. What of the incomprehensible force of an entire galaxy moving through space or the dance of tens of thousands of galaxies in a parcel of the heavens hidden behind a grain of sand held at arm’s length?
All of these things are measurable, tangible phenomenons. We may require generations to articulate the mass that is generated by all the celestial bodies and the effects each one has on the other, but it can be done. What is percievable is measurable, but does not require faith. Faith is reserved for that which cannot be measured or quantified by the senses.
As an agnostic, the power of faith does not escape me. Quite the contrary. I accept it as a unique blessing of consciousness. It gives us our creativity and keeps us moving when all seems futile.
I do not profess to know God. If I thought such a thing could happen, I would not put much weight to the concept of faith. I think many religions erroneaously teach that we may “know” God, but religion is faith and faith cannot know anything but the quest for truth. Once that truth is discovered it becomes knowledge and then wisdom should we apply that knowledge with love in our hearts. With this in mind, I don’t believe anyone would profess to know God. That would be the absence of another phenomenon: humility.
So, what am I getting at? There are many powerful things that we perceive and often control. What is more powerful than all those things combined- the force of all the winds and earthquakes, stars and planets?
The very spark of life. I’m not talking about the supposed lightning bolt that charged a primordial soup billions of years ago. I’m talking about the energy that orchestrates trillions of specialized cells to move as one biological mass with the drive of thought and the power of consciousness.
That is the power of the unknown. I call it God.