Beyond Belief / part 6 ...in closing
Beyond belief there must be a point of action. It’s a place where beliefs are tested and found worthy or unworthy. Action brings belief down from the attic of antiquity to the present day living room. To sit around the fire and share lore about killing the bear is interesting from a historical sense, but it does little to keep us safe from the bears of today. Conversely, acting on our tenets of belief makes those beliefs stronger and challenge us to believe even greater things.
King David is a perfect picture of this path towards a greater expression of faith. As a young boy, David killed both a bear and a lion that threatened his flock of sheep. When the ancient Israeli army was taunted by the giant Philistine, Goliath, the Israeli army was frozen with fear for forty days. They hunkered down in their tents and pretended not to hear the giant.
This cowardice was their reality until David, a young boy with a history of action wandered into the camp. David was appalled….both at the nerve of the Philistine and the inaction of his brothers and their army. They would take no risks because they had lived their entire lives without taking one, and this was no place to start. David was not like them…he’d been working up to this moment his entire life. David told then-king Saul “I have killed the lion, I have killed the bear…this Philistine will be like one of them.”
Each successive affirmation of belief leads to the next level of action.
The lesson learned? Choose your beliefs with care. In the days to come, your beliefs will be tested by your willingness to live them out. Some of your beliefs will leave you bloodied and battered, yet still others will launch to the moon. May you hold to the true ones.
1973 / Rural North Dakota
I race down the hill at breakneck speed. Suddenly the word ‘breakneck’ takes on a very literal interpretation with me. I hold my handlebars straight and true, my legs pumping for all they’re worth. Onlookers shout as the plank groans under the weight of a speeding bicycle and petrified little boy. At the top of the plank I stand on the pedals, shift my weight back a little, and soar…beyond belief.