On my drive into work, I looked up at the sky and noticed the most beautifully illuminated and reflective clouds filling the sky.
It was a stormy morning and the clouds, though broken, were numerous; most of them dark and foreboding. But two big mountain peaks of clouds stretched up into the blue, hiding the morning sun behind them and reflecting that light back up into the sky.
It was stunning to see. I wished I’d had my camera with me. Then I wished I was a better photographer with better equipment to truly capture the beauty that was shining in front of me. Then I thanked God for showing me this display of beauty which so lifted my spirits.
And, as all those thoughts tumbled around in my head, clawing at each other to be the thought that floated to the top and shaped my day (or at least my drive into work), one thought slipped between the chaos up to the front of my mind and whispered, “What if God just heard you thanking Him and laughed at you because you believe that His magnificent displays in nature are signs of His existence and love? What if what He’s really doing is just enjoying Himself up there, not a care in the world, and mocking us down here who think that faith is easy and that all we have to do is believe and open our hearts and we will be shown the way?”
It kind of sounded like the Devil’s voice.
I’m not saying faith is easy. I’ve done my fair share of struggling with it. But it’s not that I’ve fought to have faith. It’s that I have fought against having faith.
I attended White Tantric Yoga recently. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be, but that’s because I didn’t push myself. I’ve had the opportunity to go to White Tantric Yoga in the past, but have always been afraid because I thought I would be the only one there who wouldn’t be able to do it (chant in a meditative state for 62 minutes). (My impression had always been that the people who attended White Tantric were seasoned yogis.)
We were told at the outset of the day that, if we pushed through the ache in our arms and backs and legs, the reward would be good.
I tried. I really did. During a few of the meditations earlier in the day, I focused my mind on the chant instead of the ache in my arms. I did catch a tiny glimpse of that reward that was mentioned, but then it slipped away and my body screamed at me so loud that my mind couldn’t ignore it.
What does this have to do with my faith in God you may wonder?
In White Tantric, in order to arrive at that state of being, your mind must be stronger than your body. You have to work hard to get there. It is not easy.
What if the reason that I struggle with faith is because I’m not steeling my mind to the task? What if I have been led to believe that this is an easy path; have faith and you shall receive God’s love? Clearly, as I have struggled for most of my life with these questions, this is not an easy path. But I think maybe I need to put a bit more work into this faith thing. Like White Tantric Yoga, you only get out what you put in.