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Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Practicality of Faith

What would you do if the phone rang, the doorbell chimed, your child called for help, and the oven alarm when off all at the same time? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 1387).

Jesus Calms the Storm (Mark 4:35-41)

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.  A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

There are many practical reasons why a people that have faith are better off – they emphasize operative eternal verities rather than short-term effervescent expediency, they tame the forces of selfish pride that lead to hubris and detachment from reality, they emphasize the disciplines of love and reap the harvest thereof. One of the greatest of all the benefits of faith, however,  – even if faith should be based on a groundless fantasy – is the wherewithal to avoid panic.  We are entering the political season in which a president of United States will be chosen by the people of the United States. Certainly one of the basic things that must reside behind each voter's mind is which intellectually vital candidate fully capable of directed passion will be least subject to desperate panic in stormy rainy weather. The iconic image of panic is of the person flailing in water consumed with an overwhelming fear of drowning.. This person is not only dangerous to themselves, but to anyone who would attempt to help them. I often joke that the reason I'm not in the stock market is that I panic and buy high, then panic and sell low.  Panic is something that we should all seek to avoid. And one of the most powerful and sure antidotes to harum-scarum passion is a solid foundation of faith.

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