Have you ever had unchurched friends who could not understand why or how you could have religious belief or faith? Some may simply look at you perplexedly when the conversation turns to religion, while others may want you to explain yourself, looking at you askance, as if you were somewhat pitiably naive. These latter folks aren't necessarily being rude, or argumentative for the sake of argument. They simply "don't get it!" Then once in a while, a genuinely curious person may really be intrigued by your faith and want to know of your experience, because they want to "get it".
Because religious faith is not "one size fits all", the story of our own faith journey will be uniquely personal. Perhaps, and more rarely, someone may be able to speak of a singular moment of insight or inspiration, when "the light went on" for them. Others may have "caught" their faith by associating with friends or family, or by gradually absorbing the environment (church or a faith community) where there was a compelling sense of peace, love, or truth which resonated deeply within. For yet others there once may have been a firmer grasp on belief which only slipped back to questioning, but out of which emerged a deeper level of understanding and belief. This latter "ebb and flow" experience may be the most common and may describe the landscape of faith for many who honestly wrestle with the complexities of belief.
It may not be such a simple thing after all to explain one's own faith experience. For example, I don't think I have ever had a successful intellectual discussion with someone skeptical about belief. The deeply personal nature of one's faith may require telling a story of the heart, rather than the head. A friend once told me that he thought the best explanation of "catching" faith, was that it was a little like falling in love. He said that once smitten, the heart is never the same. Once spiritually smitten we are now vulnerable to "the beloved", to God, to Christ.
Love songs rely on poetry and metaphor to try and convey the experiences of the heart and, similarly, maybe that is why the church's hymns are poignant expressions of the journey of faith. I like the following hymn (209) in particular because it speaks of holding onto a bedrock faith despite challenges to belief.
We walk by faith, and not by sight;
no gracious words we hear from him
who spoke as none e'er spoke;
but we believe him near.
We may not touch his hands and side,
nor follow where he trod;
but in his promise we rejoice;
and cry, "My Lord and God"
Help then O Lord, our unbelief;
and may our faith abound,
to call on you when yo are near,
and seek where you are found:
that, when our life of faith is done,
in realms of clearer light
we may behold you as you are,
with full and endless sight.