Friday, December 4, 2009

The Object of our Faith

An excerpt from One Heartbeat Away, by Mark Cahill:

"Suppose I were in the northern U.S. in December, and after a few days of below-freezing temperatures, ice began to form on a nearby lake. I've enjoyed walking on a frozen lake before, so let's say I decide that I'd like to walk on this one. But then I get a better idea: I decide to take a snowmobile out onto the ice. I have seen people do that on TV, and it looks like so much fun.

Even better, I am going to build a snow ramp so I can launch the snowmobile into the air, land it on the ice, and slide for a good distance. Now, that sounds like a lot of fun! There is only one problem: No matter how much I believe I can do that, no matter how much faith I have, I would go right through the ice because it would still be very thin. That's reality.

Now suppose it is February at the same lake, and we have had over two straight months of below-freezing temperatures. Although I really want to walk out onto the ice, I'm afraid to do it because a friend fell through the ice a few months earlier. So I'm only willing to take one foot and step ever so lightly onto the ice to make sure it would support my weight. Not only does the ice hold me up, it would have supported a snowmobile being launched into the air and landing on it. Why? The ice is many feet thick by this time.

What is the difference between these two scenarios? In the first, I had all the faith in the world, but the object of my faith wasn't what I thought it was: The ice was too thin. I would be taking a blind leap of misplaced faith.

In the second scenario, if I had considered the evidence, I could have placed only a small amount of faith into action and I would have been just fine.


The key is not the amount of faith we have, but the object of that faith. That is, are we believing or trusting in something that is actually true?

So, it doesn't really matter what we believe about life after death. But it does matter whether the object of our faith is trustworthy and will support our trust. Are you taking a blind leap onto some "thin ice" for eternity, or is the "ice" you will be landing on many feet thick?"