Most of us, if not all of us, have at one time or other been on the verge of quitting, of giving up. The challenge(s) has seemed to be too difficult, the cost too high, and the chance of success unclear. Perhaps we have felt too little or no support — we have wondered if anyone cared. We have tried, but things just are not going well. So, we figure it would be easier, and perhaps smarter, just to quit … to give up … to move on to something else.
Perhaps there have been times when we really would like to have “had it out with God!” We have done our best — according to what we thought was right, what God wanted us to do …. and everything seems to be falling apart. It seems like we can do “no right”. And, to make matters worse, those “other folks out there” do not seem to be worrying or working all that hard — so, we would like to have explain to us — give us one good reason — why WE should keep going on.
Maybe a few of us have actually hoped — prayed — to die …. to just lay down and not wake up. Especially with our faith in the afterlife, why not? Just close our eyes here on earth and wake up in the beauty of heaven with NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT …no one to bother us — no one to argue with — no more pain or sorrow.
It is as these times when RADICAL FAITH has to kick in and get us going forward. It is at these times when RADICAL FAITH wakes us up, picks us up, dusts us off, gives us a little nourishment and sends us on our way — or perhaps better said, God’s way.
This Radical Faithis more than creedal belief — it requires prayer, but it is so much more than saying our prayers. This Radical FAITH is about moving forward with confidence when we have no clue if we are really going forward. This Radical Faith is stepping-out without a sense of what “success might even look like.” This Radical Faith does not worry about whether our friends or with us or not.
It is this Radical Faith that allows us to believe — ALL SHALL BE WELL ….All shall be well.
The English philosopher of the 16th Century — Sir Francis Bacon — said … “If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content with doubts, he shall end in certainties.”
So — if we like Elijah [I Kings 19:4-8] are doubtful that “this” will get better, and we are ready to crawl under the bed [broom tree], then we can take heart — in faith — and choose to move forward — we pray to live — because we need to see how this “horror show” or this “comedy” is going to end … and the only way to get there is to get up and continue the journey.
I remember one time when I preached on these Scriptures that I looked at my watch and told the congregation —- for the next 30 seconds we are all going to murmur — and I led them in “murmuring” for 30 seconds ….. then I said, “STOP … it is time for us to stop our murmuring and come to Jesus.”
In my seminary days, there was a book we will call “Spirituality – Lite” — entitled, “Jesus is the Still Point in a changing world.” The title was the best part of the book…. it is so true, he is the one constant in our every day lives. He is the guide, the companion, and the provider of food — he is all we need, and he has all we need.
In some ways, we are no different from when we were kids on a trip …. “are we there yet?” “I am bored!” “it is hot” , “it is my turn to sit by the window”, “how much further?” “I am thirsty” ….. yep, six-year olds, 26 year olds, 56 year olds, 63 year olds …. we all get tired on the journey.
Let’s get up and eat …. or else the journey will be too long for us …. what we ate last week has long gone … we need to come to the altar again …. and pray that God will give us the bread of life as daily bread for the week ahead.
Radical Faith — gotta love it.