India: pursuit of devotion. For 4 months, Gilbert lived in an Ashram (a “religious hermitage”). She awoke at 3:30 every morning for morning prayers, hymns, and meditation. This in itself is incredible; (a) to get up that early and (b) to spend a majority of your time in prayer and meditation. This is something I have always struggled with. Below is an excerpt I thought was really well-written about faith:
Devotion is diligence without assurance. Faith is a way of saying, “Yes, I pre-accept the terms of the universe and I embrace in advance what I am presently incapable of understanding.” There’s a reason we refer to “leaps of faith” – because the decision to consent to any notion of divinity is a mighty jump from the rational over to the unknowable…. If faith were rational, it wouldn’t be – by definition – faith. Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch. Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be…a prudent insurance policy.
Faith is not an easy thing. I think it is healthy and necessary to take leaps of faith….take a risk on something not knowing what the outcome will be. Another thing I have trouble with. I would not say I am a complete control freak, but I do not like making decisions; especially decisions that involve 2 options with various or unknown outcomes. I must admit that my first thought is not to just make a decision and trust that God will guide my decision as well as the outcome. Yet another thing I am working on in my life. This is where prayer comes into play. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says pray continually (or pray without ceasing, depending on your version). I like to think of it more as a constant inner dialogue with God.
Not easy by any means, but definitely possible.