Faith in Chairs

“Those who have faith need no explanation. For those who have no faith, no explanation is possible.” This quote has been borrowed and maligned by many an author but it is most often credited in this particular phrasing to John Stuart Mill, although St. Thomas Aquinas gets the nod for having the thought originally. Read it again.

“Those who have faith need no explanation. For those who have no faith, no explanation is possible.”

When my small group talked about the nature of faith a few months ago we likened faith in God to the same faith we have when sitting in a chair. When I sit in a chair I am showing faith that it will hold me. I have come to that conclusion through the experience of trying the chair. It has never failed me. It was designed for the purpose of supporting a sitter, sometimes under great stress. When you consider this quote in light of that application, you could say that I have faith that the chair will hold me and I don’t really care why. I don’t need the structural blueprints, the physics lesson about weight and distribution, or a signed certificate ensuring that the chair is sound. I know what a chair is for and I’m going to use it in the way it was intended to be used.

Consider the flip side. Look at that chair. Now look at…you. Seriously, are those four spindly legs going to keep you from crashing to the ground? What are the odds that they won’t? What is the consequence if they don’t? Will the physics lesson help you here? Will the structural blueprints be reassuring? Will a signed certificate from the manufacturer reduce your risk?

Happily, on most days I land in the “no explanation required” camp with my faith in God just like with my faith in chairs. I know my limits, and I know my load. I also know that God is the only chair big enough to hold me and my load, and I’m tired. I want to sit down. I don’t care why He works; I only know that He does…no explanation required.

Ready to take a load off? Need me to explain it to you?