So, when one has a baby on the way, what else does one do on a public holiday but go to Bunnings to get a bunch of gear to prep the room?
So there we were cruising up Old Coast Road and then in a split second something caught my eye. A local school has an LED sign which flashes up various announcements, quotes, the time and even current temperature.
I know some of you reading this know this, because you go tomor have been to that school.
On this particular day, the sign said this:
“A little faith makes our way clearer.”
At least, that was the gist of it. It flashed back to “school goes back on April 27th,” almost before I could read the end of the sentence. Luckily, I have had a few folks who also spied it since confirm to me that this indeed roughly what it said.
Now first of all, I found this extremely encouraging.
Some of you who come along to youth may be wondering why it’s encouraging.
Well, any message in any public sphere, that encourages the concept of faith must be applauded. For far too long our post-enlightenment western culture has put all it’s….faith (geddit) in raw logic. Thereby totally missing the truth that unless you’re proclaiming yourself to know everything (good luck with that), then all your logic is based on an extremely limited perspective. It also assumes that the smarter you are, the better you are.
But history has seen plenty of evil genius’ and extremely miserable masterminds.
It’s rare to see something publicly opening up young minds to the question: ‘what if something that you cannot completely understand is not only right, but what you need?’ But faith is critical for life. Without faith, there’s no hope. Without hope, what is life?
Perhaps the most encouraging thing I ever read when I was in an extremely dark place was: “faith grasps what is untenable and plain scary and it grapples bravely even though it feels like it flounders.” -Steve Whickam.
Moreover, probably the most encouraging things that I have ever heard was: “You’re not saved by the strength of your faith but by the object of your faith.” -Tim Keller.
So yeah, faith. Beautiful, hope-giving faith.
But of course you can probably hear it coming like the ‘9:05 train to Piccadilly’, the obvious statement hidden in Keller’s words: Faith is only half the answer.
The obvious question arises: Faith…..in what? In who?
At least the conversation around faith is valuable in the sense that we’d never arrive at the above question without talking about it. But since we’re talking about it; what are our options?
As far as I can tell they are these and each then poses a corresponding question.
- In me? The question then becomes, am I reliable? how do I know that my faith in myself might ironically cause my own downfall? What if i’m overestimating myself? Faith in the self seems to me to lead either to extreme arrogance or extreme panic.
- In others? The question then becomes, are they reliable? are they faithful? surely not 100% of the time. (I’m going at this point to unashamedly throw in the biblical promise that God is faithful 100% of time.) Absolute faith in people seems to me to lead either to extreme disappointment or…….well, actually, extreme disappointment. No one’s perfect right?
- In spirituality? Yeah that’s right, I get it, there’s lots of different religions and spiritual world-views out there, notice I didn’t immediately jump straight to the biblical God? Here’s why, because I am confident that if and when people are honest about the question that this poses, namely; “which Spirituality?” they will notice that the Bible is the most complete, unique, consistent and understandable story of existence ever told.
The idea of faith opens us up to search for the correct object of faith.
Jesus is alone among the ‘founders’ of the great faiths of the world when he said I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life. (cf: Jn 14:6)
Faith in spirituality will either lead to extreme despair or extreme peace depending on the object. So let’s make sure the object of our faith is sure and supreme.
If you’d like to continue the conversation on how and why Jesus is the right person to put all our faith in, then welcome to Waratah. That’s what Church is all about: God, through community, revealing to some for the first time and reminding to others who may be just holding on, why Jesus is the solid rock we can anchor our heart to.
Get into the conversation, ask anything.