Wednesday, May 01, 2013

By faith ?

Last week I was reading through a passage in the book of books that I'm sure was meant to be encouraging but, can I say this, it just wasn' me anyway.  Each phrase mentioned a great hero of the faith, in olden days, who did something least incredible enough to be written in a book thousands of years old.  They all were involved in different things but each had one thing in common.  Each person was said to have embarked on their journey to immortality " by faith".  That was the only thing ascribed to them.  "By faith" they all wandered away from typical and into the pages of the best selling book of all time.  I've heard this passage taught in many, many contexts.  I've taught it myself.  In each instance, including my own, the implication was that "they did it so why not you?".  Just turn on your " by faith" switch, hike up your pants and get moving.  Apparently all one needs to break out of a typical life, a typical faith, a typical story, is that the "by faith" switch is cosmically activated and away you go.  It should be encouraging I guess, but I've come to believe that it's a simplistic load of crap.  We read in one sentence about one person in one moment in one decision, arguably inspired "by faith", who moved in one direction that ultimately led them to biblical stardom.  What we don't read is the next moment, and the next person to whom the message was conveyed ... usually the wives, and the next day, and month, and year after that.  We get a very simplistic look at a very long and complicated, everyday, wrestling with God, family, friends, and faith that eventually led each of them to the destination at the end of that single sentence.  Many of us know in our hearts that this is true.  We know because, although our stories may never be recorded, we have experienced a "by faith" moment in time.  Some of us have even been able to hang with it through the rest of the journey.  Some of us have not.  Some of us have walked the rocks to see the mountain view.  Some have not yet left base camp.  I, for one, can tell you that the "by faith" move is actually, in a bizarre way, the easy part of the journey.  The real stuff is the everyday wrestling along the way.  It is also the most rewarding stuff, if you survive it.   There is a heresy that those of my faith can be guilty of committing if we are not careful, and open, and transparent.  We can communicate to unsuspecting travelers that the journey is as easy as finding the right "switch", and that its a one sentence journey.  That doesn't convey reality.  It doesn't account for those lost on the road.  It doesn't  explain those gained along the journey either.   It doesn't account for the scars and the healing. It leaves no room for the brokenness and doubts.   It is not honest and it is also why so many who are searching still find it wanting.  A life lived "by faith" is so much more than a sentence.  It's an entire story and all that goes with it

1 comment:

corygene said...

The story sounds really good. That was a great writing.

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