| 7 Apr 2008 @ 18:08, by David Bartholomew|
[excerpted from DoingIt!, September, 2004]
Faith is the strength by which
a shattered world shall emerge into the light.
~~ Helen Keller
Without faith, nothing is possible.
With it, nothing is impossible.
~~ Mary McLeod Bethune
To one who has faith, no explanation
is necessary. To one without faith,
no explanation is possible.
~~ St. Thomas Aquinas
I have taken to looking at the various hurdles and obstacles that have been popping up in my life… as stress tests of the mettle of the ongoing acts of faith I have committed to.
I figure such tests wouldn’t even be popping up… if I wasn’t even enrolled in the class! So there’s my slick way of welcoming little annoyances and irritations, temporary pitfalls and some real humdingers-- as gold stars and smiley-face stickers on exercises completed satisfactorily; my version of “God doesn’t create challenges we don’t already have the skill to overcome”.
Any act of faith, by definition, requires a stretching beyond what is known to our small selves to be possible… into the realm of hope and belief that it must be so. Such acts are not safe (for our “small selves”), involve change and never leave you the same as you were prior to taking the leap.
Faith is building on what you know is here,
so you can reach what you know is there.
~~ Cullen Hightower
Faith moves mountains,
but you have to keep pushing while you are praying.
~~ Mason Cooley
No one ever jumped up and gave themselves an exhilarated air-high-five for doing what they knew they had safely accomplished numerous times before (“Hey! I went no-where new!” “Yeow, I did the same-o, same-o” “Phew—I stayed in my comfort zone today. I’m going to Disneyland!”). Maneuvering repeatedly within the same confined space is not the stuff of legend. And anyone who regales you with exuberant tales of the mundane… is… well, suspect.
Where is the fun, the satisfaction, the sense of accomplishment in riding the kiddie-park rides, when our hearts yearn to have the rush, the wind in the hair, a racing heartbeat and the stomach-rising-to-the-throat sensation of that really big rollercoaster (… and perhaps just one funnel cake)? What is this world if not the greatest amusement park, created for our own amusement?
Who ever made a new discovery by blending the same ole’ ingredients in the same ole’ way? Who has ever traveled anywhere without having taken a (literal or figurative) step?
Acts of faith are the rope in a playful tug of war between the part of us that pretends not to know who we are, that we are always ok… and the rest of us that does, always gently guiding us toward that remembering.
The large “S” Self is always in control of this “Pushmepullyou” play (any Doctor Doolittle fans out there?), and reels out and takes in slack in the line… as we would while flying a kite. In this analogy—we are the kite… who thinks it is in charge of its own fate. What we are coming to learn is-- that we are not only the kite in the sky but… the sky, the string, the person on the ground, the ground and the whole shibbang!
Seemingly, the more faith one has in this universal playground, the more acts of faith, the more play will be undertaken.
Joan and I have recently been pushing beyond every one of our comfort zones with acts of faith large and small. We refuse to back off our belief that the universe supports all because we can’t accept anything different. If flat-out, pedal to the metal, to the limit, to the nth degree risk-taking and fear-busting was an Olympic sport, these past months would have had us up there in the mixed pair competition with the best of ‘em; even wowing the crabby, lowballing judge by “sticking the dismount”.
Such can be tested in any arena—the physical realm, mental, emotional, financial, security, trust, you pick ‘em. It can look pretty or ugly, easy or hard, earth-shaking or subtle, grand or small. An area of no consequence to one person might just be an immense hurdle for another. The point is—taking such leaps, pushing such bounds must be attempted when called upon, when one knows that to not take them would be to dishonor one’s soul yearning.
A clear sign of lack of faith might be… a corresponding lack of risk, play, trial and error, experimentation, testing of the boundaries of this or that. To acknowledge where you are playing it safe. To note where sudden energy lulls kick in.
This community is here to support you in moving through resistance; past, through, around, up or over any obstacles you must face. These pages are intended to help you reclaim your reward in this lifetime, whatever that may look like to you.
Jump and the net shall appear. Have faith. You are DoingIt!