If you're already there then there's nowhere to go
If you're cup's already full then it's bound to overflow
If you're drowning in the waters and you can't stay afloat
Ask Hashem for mercy, and he'll throw you a rope
You're looking for help from God, you say he couldn't be found
Searching up to the sky and looking beneath the ground
Like a king without his crown
At one point in time, I was looking for God. I've never been the most religious person in the world, but I've never had the heart to call myself an atheist through and through. For most of my life, I avoided the issue of religion altogether. I figured there was never a point in trying to rationalize the idea of faith, after all it's called "faith" for a reason. There either is a God, or there isn't. "I'll figure out what I want to believe later," I told myself. But one day, quite out of the blue, I started looking for God.
Believing in God is easy. All you have to do is, well, believe. Having "faith" in God is a different thing altogether. Having faith in someone or something implies a deep level of trust. Believing that something exists doesn't necessarily mean you have faith in that thing. Take the American economic system, for example. The paper money we like to carry around in our wallets is only worth anything because we as a society have put our trust in it. Simply acknowledging the fact that a piece of paper with some guy's face on it exists is not the same thing as putting our faith in this piece of paper. Once we put our faith in the dollar, it becomes not just a piece of green paper, but something of intrinsic value, worthy of being traded in exchange for goods or services.
Religious faith is much the same; it goes beyond simply acknowledging the existence of a God. Having faith in that God means you trust his judgement, trust that he has the power to make everything work out and trust that he will make everything work out.
Having faith in God is not easy.
I think this is the point that Matisyahu is trying to drive home in his song, "King Without a Crown." I can relate to the feeling of "drowning in the water," as most people probably can. I was drowning in the water when I first started to ponder the possibility of a divine being. Being a fairly intelligent, rational being, I naturally looked for signs of his existence. I wanted proof. I searched up to the sky and looked beneath the ground. I wanted an equation, a vision or a dream from him, telling me in no uncertain terms that he did indeed exist. I ignored all of the blessings around me, my family, my friends, my beautiful home and bright future, and instead looked to science and logic to prove his existence. I reveled in the paradoxes created by our limited understanding of the universe. "Can God create a rock so heavy he can't lift it?" I asked. "If God already knows what I'm going to do, and he can't be wrong, how do I have a free will?" In my blissful arrogance, I couldn't recognize God even though he was right in front of me - much like I wouldn't be able to recognize a king without his crown.
But once I did recognize this king for who he really is, everything changed. By no means can I say my quest for truth is over; it will probably never be over. Having faith isn't the end of the journey, rather it is the journey. I don't know where it ends and I don't know exactly how I'll get there, but I do know I won't be alone - a king without his crown will guide me every step of the way.
Out of night comes day and out of day comes light
Nullified to the One like sunlight in a ray,
Makin' room for his love and a fire gon' blaze
Make room for his love and a fire gon' blaze