Sunday, May 10 2015
How often do people get down on themselves for not having “enough faith?” Yet, similar to the question, “which came first the chicken or the egg?” it is important to know that believing precedes faith. We come to believe something, act on that belief, get a result; and then have faith that if we repeat the same sequence we will have the same result. The trusting for this same result defines faith.
When I was five my parents gave me a shiny new, red, 20” bicycle complete with training wheels. Immediately, I jumped on the bike and proceeded to push the pedal. Disaster. When I applied pressure on the pedal the bike veered sideways and I was dumped. After trying a couple more times and getting the same result, I quit. A couple weeks later I was deposited at my grandparents; complete with a scuffed bike and knees. After looking at the bike parked in the yard for a couple days, my grandpa removed the training wheels and encouraged me to get on. He told me, “you can ride bike!” He must have seen something. Again he said, “you can ride bike!” He brought the bike up a bit of a hill, helped me on, and said, “you can ride bike!” I believed him. The bike began to roll. I pushed the pedals and away we went; upright and all. When I came to a stop, I asked him to help me get up the hill to do it again. Now I had faith I would get the same result.
When Ebby Thatcher made that visit to the demoralized Bill Wilson, he carried a message that Bill began to believe. After telling Bill his story “that God had done for him what he could not do for himself,” Bill came to the conclusion that “a miracle sat directly across the kitchen table.” Bill wrote: “At long last I saw, I felt, I believed.” At the hospital Bill acted on what he believed based on Ebby's story and Bill's recollections. He made the surrender. Ebby helped Bill map out what would be the basics of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill began looking for someone to help as he, Bill, now was possessed with the faith that this same approach could be repeated in another person, and they too would get the same results. Bill believed, he acted, he got results — he had faith it would work again.