Texas Buddha spotted Sally Helen Gold crying on a park bench. Wordlessly, he sat down beside her.

“My son Travis just told me he doesn’t believe in God any more. I feel like I’ve failed as a parent.” After a very long time, she looked up. “What do you think?”

“I personally do not believe that faith means holding onto a particular idea.” He responded, “Faith is a trust in the deep mystery of life of which the word “God” is a mere shadow. True faith is equal parts belief and doubt. Those who pretend to believe something have already lost the faith that really matters in life. Travis has not lost his faith. He has only outgrown his youthful picture of the mystery.”

Emptying the bag of bread crumbs he brought to feed the birds, Texas Buddha concluded, “Nothing is true because someone believes it. It is true because it is. You have not failed as a parent. You should be very proud of your son’s deep faith to reject what seems untrue. Have faith that Travis’  radical honesty will lead him to what is true.”

Sally Helen nodded slowly, but then a thought flashed across her face, “But, how do we ever know our beliefs are right?”

“We cannot know if we are right. We can only know if we are being honest.”