How To Build Faith

Walking on Sea Ice
Credit: Bee in Finland

Back in '95 when I worked for Nokia I used to visit our sister factory in Oulu. Situated in northern Finland, Oulu is some 200kms south of the Arctic Circle. It get's pretty dark and cold in winter, and a popular attraction is to walk on the sea.

Which is pretty cool. Especially for someone who grew up on the coast in South Africa, instructed scuba, and has sailed across an ocean.

Cool is one word. Daunting another. I only ever set foot on the sea. Out in the distance, miles from shore, locals enjoyed themselves.

It would take a lot to get me to walk very far onto the ice. Even then it would only be with a local guide I knew very well, intimate with the area. Even though rationally I can see the ice can support me, I can believe it will. To put my faith in the ice needs more than just rational belief.

There's a visceral element to faith that is deeper than logic. In fact faith often requires that depth to trust [someone] even when all the 'evidence' points to a different conclusion. Trusting your spouse's isn't cheating, even when it appears they are.

Those people comfortable out on the ice have been doing it winter after winter for years. For generations. They understand the reliability, and are intimate with all of the moods of the ice.

Ultimately, of course, it's a decision. You choose to have faith and walk, or choose not to and don't. Or you choose not to, and live a life of continual risk assessment. Not that faith should ever be 'blind' just that there are more factors at play than can rationally be explained.

Unfortunately not enough people leave the beach and walk further from their comfort zone each day, so they develop neither the science nor the faith.

How're you going? Do you trust in your education, your job, your income, your status, your relationships, your country? They are all as illusory as the seasons. Enjoy them, but never cease to step out of your comfort zone. Never cease to step away from the shore, just a step extra each day.