One person's thoughts may change the world
I’ve told this story in another blog, I heard it many years ago from a guest speaker who came to the church I grew up in. This story goes:
There was a man who wanted to go to a new land, the land of milk and honey, a land where he could start anew and be free. So he saved up his money, and bought a one way ticket on a boat to take him there. He had a little money left over, so he bought himself some cheese and crackers to last him on this trip. He boarded the ship, went to his room, praying and thanking God, and eating his cheese and crackers daily. He walked around the ship and marveled. He saw the great steam coming out of the stacks that rose high above the ship. He saw a great many people, some very well dressed. He look out and saw the vast ocean, which he could hardly imagine. He was seeing and experiencing things he had never witnessed before, which brought tears to his eyes.
He then looked through the port-hole, and saw people eating at fine dinner tables, of lobster, steak, shrimp, fruits and vegetables, and other fine foods. He then went back to his room and ate his cheese and crackers. He did this for the 6 days of his trip. The ship then pulled into port, and he saw a magnificent city, of tall buildings, boats in the harbor, far beyond what he had imagined. He was so happy he cried.
Finally it was time to disembark. As he walked down off the ship, the ships mate was at the end of the railing which he walked down. “How was your trip?” He asked the man. “Wow, I saw magnificent things, the ocean, the boat, the people, it was truly magnificent”. “I brought along just enough cheese and crackers to get me through the trip”. The ships mate replied, “Sir, did you know that your ticket was all-inclusive, meals and all of the luxuries the ship had to offer?” “No, I did not know that”, he said, looking perplexed. I thought my ticket only bought me passage, not any of those luxuries that I saw”.
The man now walked away, in awe of the new world that awaited him, but, at the same time felt that he shortchanged himself during the long passage to get there. The preacher who was telling this story pointed at the congregation and said, “Many of you Christians are living on cheese and crackers, when you could be living off the glory of God!”
So, what is your measure of faith? According to Jesus Christ, one measure of faith can be this:
And Jesus said unto them, “Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you”.
Translation, if you had even the faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move a mountain.
Powerful and yet humbling words. Powerful because you may have access to God’s greatness yet humbled because your access to it is muted by your humanity. Your frailness, your faults, your lack of faith, and your lack of practicing it.
I was in line to each lunch last week when a young man behind me looked at me and smiled saying, “Jesus Rocks!”. He gave me the fist, to which I gave it to him back, touching fists to fists. I then began to observe him, and saw that he lacked the vocabulary to tell the attended of some of the things he wanted on his sandwich. I paid for my sandwich and left, found a park, pulled into it, and began eating my sandwich while listening to the radio. My mind drifted back to the young man, and his faith. His faith was of a mustard seed and perhaps even more. His faith was of action, with the ability of expressing it to someone regardless of the reaction he may have received from that individual. What he lacked in his vocabulary, he more than expressed his knowledge of the fundamental thing that will help him in his passages on this planet, he expressed his faith. His faith moved a mountain, or, moved me.
My faith was muted, quiet, not wanting to reveal itself and, a token acknowledgement, hoping no one else saw us touch fists. A Christian full of faith of a mustard seed or more would have revealed his faith as well, glad to see a fellow Christian of faith and its expression. That expression could have spread to one, two or several people who was there in line, just to get a sandwich.
Furthermore, my muted faith at times has spread into all aspects of my life, using logic instead of wisdom and knowledge of my faith to guide me at time. I’m not saying I’m off the path, but sometimes, as well all do, I’m eating cheese and crackers when I “should” be doing much more. Sometimes self observance and self admission of lack of faith guides you on the path of achieving faith of a mustard seed and perhaps much more.
Whether you’re a new Christian in your faith or old in it, you have to be able to grow beyond just the mustard seed of expression of it. You have to somehow be able to break through of not being accepted, and be able to express it. God, in his wisdom, released you from being under the rule of the commandment to the spirit of grace. But, it’s up to you to act upon it.
I know all of you aren’t Christians out there. I know that there is more than just one day to act upon and express your believes. But, last week, a young man who could hardly order a sandwich, challenged my faith, moved a mountain, and now I’m challenging you….
Peace Mickey Fi….. Opps, I mean Peace and good tidings to you on this day of remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus the Son of God…..