Be careful what you preach because you may have to walk in it. So it has been for me this week.
On Sunday I had the great privilege of taking the service in my lovely little church. Our minister had just moved and she needed a much deserved day off.
The scripture lesson was Hebrews 11, the great FAITH chapter of the Bible. The first verse is the one to which I hold. It says, “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.” (Living Bible)
In the sermon, I related stories of faith and tried to encourage the walk of faith and putting fear aside. One story I borrowed from the internet was of Charles Blondin, famous Niagara Falls tightrope walker, circa 1860. In an article about Blondin and faith, Ray Pritchard recounts the events of the crossings.
“…he would walk across the Falls many times. Once he walked across on stilts; another time he took a chair and a stove with him and sat down midway across, cooked an omelette, and ate it. Once he carried his manager across riding piggyback. And once he pushed a wheelbarrow across loaded with 350 pounds of cement. On another occasion, he asked the cheering spectators if they thought he could push a man across sitting in a wheelbarrow. A mighty roar of approval rose from the crowd. Spying a man cheering loudly, he asked, “Sir, do you think I could safely carry you across in this wheelbarrow?” “Yes, of course.” “Get in,” the Great Blondin replied with a smile.
The man refused.” (Read the entire article about Blondin)
The sermon went well. I felt some relief and perhaps a little pride in having pulled it off but my balloon quickly found a pin in it that evening when I learned something that could shake my already tenuous world. Another hit came on Tuesday and suddenly my great words of faith rose up to haunt me. Fear rushed in to replace faith like a tidal wave.
It has taken me a couple of days to recover and I must say I’m not entirely back on track but getting there. The outcome is still invisible as Hebrews points out but once again I can believe the outcome is not in my hands but in the hands of the great powers beyond, the universe which conspires to meet my needs and deliver my dreams.