Posts Tagged ‘La Fonda’
photo credit: http://blog.faboverfifty.com
One day I was sitting on the patio of a hotel in La Fonda, Mexico, about two hours south of San Diego. My friends and I were looking out over the ocean when we saw an old ultralight aircraft buzzing by. It was basically a hang glider with an air boat fan loosely attached to the back. Since our hotel sat on a cliff about a hundred feet above the ocean, we had a front row seat to the show. When he landed on the hard sand beach below, he got out and started to wave at us to come down to him. One of the guys with us–we’ll call him Daniel–looked around and said, “I’m going!” And just like that, Daniel scurried down the cliff and out to meet the pilot.
We watched as they probably exchanged short phrases in Spanish, and then Daniel looked up and waved at us. His visible smile was cause for concern. Daniel quickly climbed in the back and they started to taxi down the beach! We started screaming, “Daniel!! What are you doing?! Don’t do it!!” We were too far away and the motor was too loud.
The ultralight strained under the extra weight but made it off the ground as we stood there, totally dumbfounded at Daniel’s decision making skills. They banked left over the ocean, continued to climb, floated back over land… and over the high hills behind us. And then they were gone.
We looked at each other in utter shock. After a long, long silence, one of my friends looked up at the empty sky in Daniel’s direction and said, “Guys… I don’t think he’s coming back.” My mind raced. My emotions began to overtake me. “What are we going to tell his family?” 5 minutes grew to 10. Then to 20. Then to 30. We were all feeling sick (no, it wasn’t the water.) Our doubt was threatening to destroy our hope. But we collectively, if silently, resolved to believe Daniel would be returned to us safely. We waited to see…
Belief, faith, hope. We cultivate these things many different ways. But what about doubt? Does it play a role? I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but I actually think doubt is critical to the faith-forming process. We tend to run from situations that cause doubt because doubt is resistance. Often times we’re convinced we can grow deeper, stronger, more mature in our faith in the absence of resistance. It doesn’t work that way. Think about these examples: working out, passing a test, surgery, relationships… In every case, real growth requires resistance–an opposing force acting against muscle, mind, body, sensibilities.
The opposing force in the formation of faith and belief is doubt. We shouldn’t hide from doubt, we should welcome it into our spiritual journey.
So here’s my question. If doubt is the necessary opposing force, how do we let it work in our lives in a way that strengthens and deepens our faith?
By the way… yes. Daniel made it back safely.