Article # 8 – Faith 2
Bestselling author Mark Batterson wrote Chase the Lion, published in 2016. The subtitle of the book is: “If your dream doesn’t scare you, it is too small.” The entire book pulls truth from the Biblical text 2 Samuel 23 verses 8-39. The book was sent to us by our publisher to read and comment on. As I read the book, I got more and more angry. It felt like the book encouraged pole vaulting for six-year-old kids. The central idea was that most people live lives far beneath their potential and are therefore operating at less than they could ever hope to achieve. The solution was to set a very high goal which is well beyond individual capabilities and then offer up prayers to God to facilitate achievement. In other words, we choose what we want then “tell” God what He needs to do for us. We declined to comment back to the publisher.
After thinking about it for almost 7 years we are now prepared to comment. Angry does not help. The book is about FAITH the noun and FAITH the verb combined using a Bible story as a framing device. After years of working with people we agree that many people live lives at some fraction below their potential. Rather than setting lofty goals based upon our personal, unattainable dreams we suggest a different approach to healthy development. FAITH the noun is required to simply live a “successful” life in today’s world. Seeing life as operating with a benevolent intelligence who is in charge of every aspect of how life develops is healthy. God is good. In our view FAITH the verb can be added to the noun. This FAITH part can be relational. HUH!? WHAT?! RELATIONAL? Come again? We have learned over the years that the creator of the universe, God, is relational. He is seeking a personal intimate deep engagement with each one of us….we just don’t believe or maybe even know that as true. FAITH the verb, FAITH in action adds a relationship dynamic to the entire idea of FAITH the noun.
Elaine worked on the COVID unit of the hospital during the height of the pandemic. One very elderly lady she was treating commented that she could see Elaine was a Christian. How she figured that out through all the layers of protective gear is beyond reality. After the Physical Therapy treatment, she asked if Elaine would stay and pray with her. Sometimes people on the front lines of these vocations come face to face with the realities of the end of life. The elderly woman was clearly on the front porch of Heaven. Elaine quietly closed the door to her room took her hand and exercised her FAITH as a verb. It was the act of being very present with a soul at a very difficult time of life. The next day Elaine learned the elderly lady died over night. Perfect timing.
FAITH the noun is religion, adding FAITH the verb brings in a relationship dynamic. How can you develop a relationship with God? Verbalized prayers might be a start. Think of God as Father and someone to simply have conversation with. Over these pages we will continue to outline methods to build you own soul roadmap using an increasingly relational tone with Father.