It is easy to believe what already conforms to what I know or what I expect to be true. I believe in the goodness of my loved ones. But I guess that is more knowing than believing. I believe the sun will once again rise tomorrow morning. Again, that is knowing the near certitude of that happening. For the possibility of the world just vanishing tomorrow is extremely remote.
Real belief is putting my trust in some reality beyond what my senses can perceive. Is there life over and beyond that which we know on earth? Will I continue to exist beyond my present life? No one has even come back from the dead to tell us there is life after death. But then again, yes there is one person who did come back from that dead and confirmed to me and to everybody that there is life other than this one. He affirmed that deep-seated feeling within me that there is more to life than the present one; that somehow I will live in eternity.
Just as such belief is so contrary to reason and nature, He also taught us many things so contrary to reason and nature but that on deeper reflection indeed make a lot of sense. Forgive those who hate you, He said. But it stands to reason that I should hate those who would do me harm. Yet, it is only in forgiving those who hate me that I can break the cycle of revenge and violence in this world.
He who would lead must serve. Again this is not in the natural order of things. He who leads usually lords it over his followers. Yet again on deeper reflection, it is in giving to others that I receive, in pardoning that I am pardoned and in serving that I am able to fulfill my own needs.
Just as the eternal longings deep in me are a gift; so is the faith to believe in these contradictions and mystery a gift from the Source of my life.