A Step of Faith

What is faith? Is it not believing in someone or something even if you can’t see it? I don’t think about the air I breathe. I never consider if it has the right mixture of gases. Breathing is a natural function, and I have faith that my body will be able to use the air it takes in.

Blind faith is different and often dangerous. Whether it is an over-confidence in one’s abilities or a disconnect from the reality of one’s circumstances, blind faith can be disastrous. Eating an unknown mushroom can result in negative consequences up to and including death. Walking in complete darkness can have similar results. if you are going to have faith, blind faith is not the one you want to have.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I love these words from Dr. King. I see the staircase in front of me. I know that what I want is at the top even if I don’t completely understand the full value of what is up there. My only choices are to stay in place or take the first step. The consequences of not moving are more dangerous than the action of taking the step. Action begets action. One step leads to another. I have faith that my legs and heart will get me to the top. This is faith. It is not blind faith, but faith in the process of doing what I was put one this earth to do. It begins with the action. Therefore, I must go.

Winter Is Coming

The Summer ends and the final preparations must be completed.

The Autumn comes and with it the leaves. So many leaves, and they must be gathered quickly.

Winter. Is there enough wood for the fire? Are their leaves left that will make walking treacherous?

Spring. A new hope of a brighter future. Yet, the work is never done.

A couple of years ago, my family and I moved from the city to the country. Before the move, I never really considered the seasons. Of course, I saw the beauty in it all, but it never had that great of an influence on me. When it was warm, I wore less clothes and sweated more. When it was cold, I dressed accordingly.

These days, I spend much of my time considering the seasons. When the Winter leaves and the Spring comes, the harshness goes away. The darkness recedes and is replaced by a welcoming sun. The fields need to be planted, but this labor isn’t too bad because the promise of pleasant days is on the horizon. Everything done in the Spring is to prepare for the Summer, then the Autumn, and finally back to Winter. It is a never-ending cycle.

The seasons of the year make me cognizant of the seasons of my life. I go through stretches full of hope, just like the Spring. I enjoy the long days and smooth flow of the Summer. And in the back of my mind, I know the seasons of my life will continue to change. It is only a matter of time before the Winter comes.

All the seasons are important, but I find the Summer to be the most dangerous. If I fall into the trappings of ease and comfort, if I become lackadaisical in my preparations, then the Autumn will come, and I will not be prepared. I will do in the Autumn what I should have done in the Summer. Before I know it, the Winter will be upon me, and I will be behind. The Winter is where the real struggle will begin. Cold, dark, lonely. Will we survive another harsh season?

The ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King Jr.

It is in the winter where we are tested. It is a time when we discover who we really are, who we can become. We must do more than survive in the dark times, we must learn to thrive. Therefore, if we want peace in the Winter, we must prepare for war in the Summer.*

War in the Summer of our lives means to prepare and test ourselves for the Winter that will inevitably come to each of us. For it is in that Winter that we will ultimately be measured. Are you ready?

*We make war that we may live in peace. -Aristotle