We live in a time that places information at our fingertips. Whatever important, obscure, unusual, and even asinine fact that we may need or want, is no further than our always available smart phone or companion apparatus. There are still a few of us who peruse the daily newspaper, but even for us diehards, it’s akin to reading yesterday’s news because, whether we like it or not, the network surrounds, informs, and updates us perpetually, as well.
It can be quite delusive. We come to believe we can know everything, that nothing is beyond our search or google, and that I hold in the palm of my hand every answer to every question that can be asked. And then a real life mystery and tragedy like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 occurs. For over a month and a half, the greatest minds, technologies, and governments, have not been able to locate a huge aircraft with 239 people aboard. It confounds and confronts us at the same time. It imposes upon us pause. The thought crosses our minds, ‘perhaps there is more to this earth, these seas, these skies, and this life than what I know or even can know’.
Faith is an interesting phenomena. It originates in the dark. It is tied up in the unknown. Most think of faith as being in opposition, or at least, estranged from intellect. Yet, every effort to know starts out of not knowing. It is the darkness that proceeds the light. It is the darkness that kindles the desire and the need to know. We search because we believe we will find Flight 370. We search because we feel an obligation to the 239 souls and their families. We search because ‘the not knowing’ drives us.
And yet, in our exhausting search, the obvious seems to allude us. This earth, these seas, the skies, are not our design. We are not their maker or their master. In fact, we are a participatory partner within and of this creation. The universe invites us, engages us, inspires us, and enlightens us, by the Grace of God, Who Knows what we know, what we don’t know, what we have yet come to know, and what we cannot know.
It is that faith that enlarges the heart, sharpens the mind, guides the life, and brings light out of darkness and doubt, if we but knew.
submitted by Imam Plemon T. El-Amin