Do I Have Enough Faith and Doubt?

In G.K. Chesterton’s book, “Orthodoxy,” he talks about faith and doubt in the context of a fairytale and an adventure:

If our life is every really as beautiful as a fairy-tale, we shall have to remember that all the beauty of a fairytale lies in this:  that the prince has a wonder which just stops short of being fear.  If he is afraid of the giant, there is an end to him; but also if he is not astonished at the giant, there is an end of the fairytale.  The whole point depends upon his being humble enough the wonder, and haughty enough to defy…  Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them.

Two things stand out for me in this passage.  First, my faith is a humble expression of wonder.  It allows me to have adventures.  How so?  If I know what is on the other side of a hill, will I walk over there anyway?  Even in the midst of knowledge, if I humble myself and realize that I may not know what is on the other side of the hill, I could have an adventure in wonder, marveling at how things have changed or stayed the same.

Second, in order to enjoy the adventures that faith allows me to have, doubt is essential in order to enjoy them. Doubt in myself brings into question what it is that I think I know about what is on the other side of the hill.  I can then question old assumptions and knowledge in order to enjoy the journey of learning new and exciting things, even if my knowledge of the subject is classified as expert-level.

So, I challenge you, as I am challenged, to have faith in the adventure that is your life, and doubt that you know how the day, week, month or year will end.  By embracing faith and doubt, you can enjoy the journey that you are on and realize that life is truly an expression of doubtful faith, followed by another.