Tricky Things

03.365 (02.08.2009) Faith
Image by hannahclark via Flickr

The world’s a tricky place, isn’t it?  Don’t you think?

There are certainly tricky things out there.  Things most of us take for granted.  Like faith, for instance.

When you go to sit in a chair, you have complete and total faith the chair will be there when your bottom hits the seat.  You have complete faith the chair will bear your weight when you do.  You don’t watch your butt descend onto the seating surface … you’d look foolish if you did. It would be an incredibly conspicuous thing to do because no one does it; they have, like you, unshakable faith the chair will be there and will support them.  This is why it’s always so shocking and startling and painful when those things fail.  We don’t expect — and therefore prepare — for that failure.  It hits us hard and sudden and can even hurt us if we’re unlucky.

You have faith when you step the ground will be there to greet your foot.  Walking is a controlled falling, did you know that?  We push our bodies beyond its center of gravity and catch ourselves with our outstretched leg.  Push off with the back leg beyond the center of gravity and repeat ad infinitum.  Well … until we can’t walk anymore for some reason, at least.  And we never get that little thrill in our tummies we might get if we took an unexpected drop of the same height because we have faith nothing in the process will fail, and we walk on without fore- or afterthought.  We just have faith it all works and keep on trucking.

That sort of unexamined, uncontested faith is harder to come by in other areas of our life.  For me, the knowledge of the trickier things hangs like a museum-quality painting in my brain, under the exposing light of a well-placed halogen lamp, clear and on display for all to see.  But it never moves the necessary eighteen inches down to my heart to take up residence, and have that sort of impact which causes me to drop my considerable backside into a chair without even looking to ensure it’s going to be there when I do and support my prodigious girth.

How do I get there?  How can those things — some of which are very important to me and which I won’t bore you with either here, in email or in the comments discuss, should there be one — I want to believe, want to know so emphatically on faith I don’t even question them anymore, make that drop from gray matter to heart?  How can I act on them just with the same surety and unfaltering conviction I have in normal, everyday, and far less critical matters?  I need that faith sometimes.  I need that assurance.  I need the conviction.  (Hm.  This sounds familiar.  Oh, yeah — Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  I guess I’m not the first to ponder these things, eh?)

I’m not sure of the answer, but I know, in times such as the ones I face now, having the faith would be really great.  Really great.

On the other hand, finding the chair DID fail or wasn’t there is an unpleasant surprise.  Always.  It’s never fun.  So if the things hoped for don’t pan out, there’s that to consider.

But the chair not being there or failing doesn’t stop us from trusting the next time, does it?  I guess the secret’s in there somewhere to these tricky things.  Maybe eventually I’ll find it.  And live it.



10 thoughts on “Tricky Things

  1. Great thoughts. I have Faith in Christianity but it’s not that strong. As for other things, I don’t know. I don’t really think about it.

    Well, defining what your beliefs are is a process and takes time. I’ll pray for you. 😉

  2. Some people are able to do that without effort but I think most people don’t find that kind of faith until faith is the only thing they have left.

    Well, I’ve been there for quite some time. I guess I’m just a slow learner. 😉

  3. I don’t know what to say except I’m here to listen. Can’t do much else, but that much, I can do. Love you guys.

    We love you too. We know it’s your nature to want to help, sweetie, and we love you for it. I’m just … blowing it out so it isn’t stuck in. Nothing for you to worry over though. 🙂

  4. Ah well, I know what to believe it when the time comes. But yeah, pray for me so I can have faith on that Guy above. I think Jesus is amazing and he is the one I believe in the most when it comes to Christianity. Does that count? Hahaha.

    I’ll certainly keep praying, hon. 🙂

  5. You’ll rarely hear (or read?) me comment on faith, but this is what I’ve got for you today… “Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see.” – William Newton Clark.

    Keep hangin’ tough (wow – that could have been a really bad NKOTB reference) and know that Ben and I are behind you all the way.


    Thanks, guys. I don’t know what “NKOTB” is, but I appreciate the unflagging support. 🙂

    • Did you SLEEP through the late 80s / early 90s!?!? Oh wait, you’re a GUY and didn’t automatically associate NKOTB with the teen heart throb band – New Kids on the Block.

      Excuse me while I PROJECTILE VOMIT ON MY WALL for this comment.


  6. Faith to me is knowing that someone or something will always be there for you…I am not a strong religious but I know he listens when I far the chair being there for you sit down ..dont follow it but still a great post…I liked the old template…Zman sends

    The chair example just shows how completely we trust in certain things without even questioning; I need some of that unflappable, unquestioning faith in my Lord and Savior right now to carry me through this hard time. But I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and I’m certainly glad to see around here. Not a fan of the new template, huh? Well, I’m changing the header today, maybe that’ll make it easier to digest. 🙂

  7. I actually like the layout better, I think it’s more.. readable and much neater? Can’t wait to see your new header!

    Thanks for the reminder! I’ll get that up there now. 🙂

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