One spring a few years ago our back yard was suddenly full of wild violets, and they've returned each spring since. Nice for someone like me who is into wildflowers.
I keep thinking about faith and how to define it--how to know what it is and what it isn't. Since a friend of mine has recently abandoned the faith, I'm paying much closer attention to what the scriptures actually say about faith.
One thing I've recently noted is from the book of James--that somehow, poor people are more likely to have faith than rich people.
James 2:5 Listen, my dear friends! God chose the poor people of this world to be rich in faith
The context of this verse, is James scolding his readers who are giving preferential treatment to the wealthy folks in the congregation. He is urging them to treat everyone the same, and furthermore, he says, the poor are more likely to have faith in Christ than the rich.
Wow, that doesn't make much sense, does it? But when I was pondering this, I started to analyze who the rich and the poor are. My conclusion: the poor are typically less educated than the rich. Is that a coincidence? Maybe not. Maybe the more we learn, the harder it is to believe?
That thought took me on to another: What about Christian apologists? You know, people who collect all the evidence that God is, that Christ lived and died and rose again, and, and, and. WE LOVE TO READ THOSE BOOKS! We love to have our faith confirmed by hard facts.*
But wait--if we have hard facts, then what about faith? This is one thing I'm puzzled about. If a Christian apologist can make such a great case for Christianity, then what is the role of faith? After all, it doesn't take faith to accept something that's been proven--it just takes common sense.
The best I can sort this out at the moment is that God provides a few "facts," (things about Christianity that are historically provable), but not enough of them such that every human being would have to accept them. That is where faith comes in and that is why faith is part of the picture. A very big part of the picture, in fact.
I'm going to keep thinking about faith.
*Please note, I'm not intending to say anything negative against Josh McDowell. Nor am I saying it is bad to be educated. But it does seem to be that faith for an educated person is somewhat of a different animal than for a non-educated one.