Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fear's Remedy

Several of our new pastors and I just spent some time recently with Graham Standish, the author of “Becoming a Blessed Congregation” and “Humble Leadership.” He is a gifted pastor, author and teacher. Our Mediation Team is contracting to bring Graham to Lake Michigan Presbytery in November of 2012 (that’s next year, NOT next month)! He has much to offer us, and I recommend his books to you in the meantime.

In one of his seminars, Standish used the following quotation of David Steindl-Rast, from “Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer,” about faith, which resonated with me. Perhaps it will with you as well.

“To have faith does not primarily mean believing something, but rather believing in someone. Faith is trust. It takes courage to trust. The opposite of faith is not disbelief, but distrust, fear. Fear makes us cling to anything within reach. Fear clings even to beliefs. Thus, beliefs can even get in the way of faith. In genuine faith we hold our beliefs firmly, but lightly. We trust in God, not in our particular understanding of God. That is why people of deep faith are one at heart, even though their beliefs may differ widely. When beliefs become more important than faith, even small differences create insurmountable barriers.”

Fear and distrust abound these days in the culture AND in the church! Faith is the remedy, and the Someone who we trust, who is our solid rock, our true north, and in whom we are united in baptism and given our core identity is the holy Trinity!