We are not antelope. Groundbreaking stuff, I know.
But what differences do we have from them? I mean, they have a basic need to eat, as do we. They have some sort of inherent need to procreate—though their motivations may be purer, at times, than our own. They drink, nurture their young, run, walk, sleep, and, depending upon which YouTube video you happen to be watching, it seems that they even play on occasion, at least if you believe the lyrics of “Home on the Range.” (My mother swears to the playful nature of her cats, but that is a whole other animal—both the cats and my dear mother.)
Of course, the reasonable among us will say it is that very reason which makes us different than antelope and other animals in general. We have aspects of our mind that allow us not to content ourselves with a life of running and getting eaten by lions. Our brain tells us we have a choice in our existence, and so we’ve gone about making shelters to live in, weapons to protect ourselves with, and generally making good use of the ever-handy opposable thumb.
But if we jump straight to reason, we miss an important step—and that would be highly unreasonable, now wouldn’t it? Thing is, at some point man reasoned that he’d prefer a house to a cave, so he built a home, lived in it, and probably went about taking the things he loved of his former abode in forming the first ever Man Cave. But in all that, before hammer touched fateful nail, there was something beyond reason and rationale and intelligence. Before all that was faith.
And that isn’t to say that faith is uninformed or silly or simple or animalistic, but that it was on faith that ancient man began collecting sticks with which to build his new inhabitance. He believed it would work. That it would be better. That is was worth the work. It was worth it! He had faith in his very reason. Likewise, it is faith that prompted every invention and revolution. It is faith that has us stand at altars and pledge ourselves to another—for life!—and it is faith that has us up out-of-bed each morning; faith which prompts every kindness, each smile, a hug. It is faith when we tell our children, “It will be all right. (NOW GO BACK TO BED.)”
We are people, and as people, by default, we have faith. You have faith that this sentence isn’t going to just end without
You have faith that the chair you are sitting in will support you, and not be the cause of an embarrassment much larger than the collapse itself.
You have faith that the food you are eating will not make you sick: That the waiter was trustworthy with your food back there in the kitchen.
You have faith in your weekend plans: That they will happen, along with the occurrence of the actual weekend itself.
You have faith that no matter how many lions storm our offices, we will prevail! For we are not antelope, after all. We are people!
So accept that you have faith. Grow the faith you have. Understand the faith you have. Even question the faith you have.
But realize you have it. It is there and always has been.
And, if you are still with me, if the lions haven’t run you down, you can begin the real adventure regarding faith. That adventure begins with a simple word we’ve all uttered in the deep, dark stillness of sleepless nights. That word, simple and deep, is “Why?”.
Why do you put your faith where it is? Why is your faith this way or that way? Why is your faith not growing you as a person? Why even have faith? Why? Why? Why?
And here is the other cool thing about mankind, the age-old quote: “It is not good for man to be alone.” Occasionally an antelope will get caught out in the field alone. The lions will surround, and well, it might as well be footage from a Walking Dead episode at that point . . .
But not us. We stick together. So as you roam the fields of your own faith, as you graze into spirituality, purpose, peace, and love, perhaps it is best if you don’t go at it alone? Seek assistance, counsel, wisdom, or, if nothing else, a companion to walk along with. Together we will defeat the lions, we will build things, and, in the end, we just might make it home . . . indeed, that is a thing worthy of faith.