No matter what our goals are, in order to attain success, we need to have faith. Faith in our choices, our actions, and the path we are walking is necessary for us to succeed. It is the fuel we need in order to achieve what we want. It is especially required on our spiritual journey as well. In order to self realize and reach new heights in spirituality, we need to make sure that our faith in God is strong and steady. Without faith, we can put in as much effort as we want, but we will not reap the fruits of our effort.
But the question becomes, how does one develop and maintain one's faith? Faith is developed by continuing on the spiritual path and going through divine experiences in our hearts and minds. Similar to how people begin to grow their business faster as they see their earnings increase, our faith gets stronger as we continue to uplift ourselves. Oftentimes people claim that their faith is strong, but as soon as they face hard times, their faith shatters because it is not developed through their own experiences. When faith is developed from inside ourselves, no matter what happens, we will always remain strong.
Charles Blondin was a french acrobat, famous for his tightrope walking. In 1859, he completed his most famous tightrope walk over the 1,100 feet long Niagara Gorge. Without any harness or net to help him, he walked the entire length with thousands of people watching. He then increased the challenge by trundling a wheelbarrow back and forth across the rope. People could not believe it and began to cheer and applaud him. Charles then asked the crowd, "Do you have faith in me?" and everyone yelled yes. But then he asked, "Who would like to volunteer to sit in the wheelbarrow, while I bring them across?". No one spoke. We only say that we have faith, but the moment when our faith is put to the test, is when we will know how strong our faith really is. The people in the crowd said they had faith, but inside, they did not believe in Charles. Only one person, Harry Colcord, Charles's manager, volunteered, and Charles took him across the rope. Harry had seen Charles work his entire life. He had faith in Charles's abilities, and strengths, and from his life's experience, he had developed an unshakeable faith that allowed him to risk his life.
Until we do not experience the spiritual divine elevation inside of ourselves, we cannot even begin to develop a strong faith to go up against even the smallest hardships we would face. That is why meditation is necessary if we want to strengthen our faith. Only by going on the journey within and experiencing the divinity, will we begin to develop strong and unshakable faith from inside. Otherwise, we will only develop a superficial faith that can be easily broken.
The Greek scholar Aristotle said, "Educating the mind, without educating the heart is no education at all." The divine thoughts we read or hear are only to educate the mind. Educating the mind does not build our faith. It is only through meditation that we can educate the heart. When we take the kindle of knowledge and use it to create the flame of spirituality, we can burn the negativity that exists and cleanse our minds and hearts. Then and only then can that knowledge be transformed into an unshakable faith to give us fuel to rise and continue on our spiritual journey.