The Challenge of Faith

“Here I Am, Lord,” has always been my favorite song.

Faith is a shaky concept. We can toss around the word, believing whole-heartedly that if God asked us to do something for Him, we wouldn’t even stop for a pee-break. We thrive on the belief that we would be just as faithful as the girl who got pregnant out of wedlock and the man who almost killed his son. The truth is more sordid than our own simple realities.

Noah was alone when the Creator broke the news that He was planning to flood the world. He had to convince his wife and his sons that he wasn’t crazy. That, really, someone in some place somewhere between his asleep and awake states, had convinced him to build an ark where he would place two of every type of animal in the world.

Noah was faced with a new reality. I wonder what finally convinced him that this voice was God. I wonder what would happen if the same were to happen to a Noah from the 21st century.

What if the first vision was brushed off as “the work of the devil.” I wonder what would have happened if Noah had tossed away the set of tools Home Depot mysteriously left on his driveway.

What if his “no” had been interpreted by God as a denial of Him? Would Noah have gotten arrested on suspicion of robbery for stealing the mysterious delivery? Or would that have just been a scare?

What if the next message from God had come to Noah during his kid’s baseball game one night when a mysterious name flashed on the scoreboard like a scene from an old baseball movie? Would Noah have reacted immediately or would he have waited to act until his kids were grown up and out of the house so that they wouldn’t judge him like some kind of crazy person?

Do any of us understand what it truly means to sacrifice everything to follow the path our faith has put before us? I don’t think the path of faith is an easy cobblestone one. I think the road will be full of potholes and uprooted trees as if after a hurricane. Throw in a couple of hecklers and it might be right up there with Noah’s challenge because, really, the people shunned him and thought he was crazy up until the first drops fell.

Most of us are willing to accept the gifts God or Spirit offers us. We would be happy to accept that we are perfectly loved, but would we be willing to prove that we are worthy of that love? I don’t envy Noah’s place in the history books of faith. He is accepted as a great and faithful man who saved that part of humanity that deserved to be saved, but he went through every hardship imaginable. Would any of my readers accept his challenge today?

How quickly would Facebook and Twitter drag our faces through the mud because what we are doing in the name of faith and obedience is something that “it’s just not done!” How many parents would shake their heads at the daughter who went crazy or the son who fell off the wagon?

Which of us would be willing to throw down our safe lives to follow the path of faith in exchange for a chapter in the history books of our faiths?

I really wonder. I know God would keep His end of the bargain.

Food for thought, I guess.

The Dragonfly’s Student

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