A leap of faith

Published 1:42 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2018

“We live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

I remember as a child in the summertime, my friends and I would go exploring in the woods. Around our homes were little gullies that we thought were more like steep hills to climb up or slide down. Every now and then we would come across a tree that had fallen over the ravine … and of course, by its very existence, challenged us to walk across it. It was rare that any of us would fall off, and even if we did the drop was only 5 feet anyway. Today when going into the woods to look around when hunting or scouting things out I see fallen trees that have crossed creeks, streams and small rivers. I think about trying to walk across on them, but now rarely even try. The thoughts that go through my mind don’t have to do with being afraid that I will fall off, but that the log might collapse under me. When I was younger I weighted 60 pounds less, and the trees seemed larger. Sometimes I will walk up to them and put some of my weight on it, but not much, just to see how sturdy it is.

That makes me smile at times, because I remember a story a buddy of mine told me years ago. He went to a small African village as a missionary and lived with them for two years. During that time, as he built relationships with them, he asked the tribal leader about his faith. The man didn’t really understand the word faith, but understood the concept more than clearly. He took my friend on a little journey outside the village to a suspension bridge that crossed a canyon. They were about 200 feet above the river below. The bridge looked old. Much of the rope appeared weathered and somewhat frayed. The wooden boards were discolored and warped by the heat and humidity over time. The leader said, “here, you cross the bridge to the other side.” My buddy wouldn’t do it for the longest time. After a while, the man came over and sat beside him and said, “to us, faith is that in which we put our full weight.”

I wonder how seriously we take faith these days. I think some of us sit and ponder what to do like my friend did. Others of us do as I do in the woods and put a little weight on it to test it out first. Then there are others that just take those steps, and offer their lives to God no matter what. Then, eventually, they make it to the other side. Perhaps if we truly want to make it to the other side, we have to be willing to place our full weight (our entire lives) in God’s hands. I believe that if God is with us when we get to it, he will be with us until we get through it. And I believe that God is always with us. Walk by faith, not by sight. By the way, my buddy eventually crossed the bridge.

Tim Beck is pastor of Kenbridge United Methodist Church. His email address is revtimbeck@gmail.com.