Saturday, June 6, 2009

Umbrellas and Faith


It became something of a joke at the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Memorial Day weekend. The race had already been postponed to Monday, Memorial Day, because of heavy rain on Sunday. The race had been postponed a couple of times during the day on Monday…and once past the half-way point, the race could be called off. Still, after a day’s delay, the fans had been waiting patiently -- dealing with the rain -- for the race to go the distance.

So, here was David Reutimann, the leader of the race after 227 of 400 laps were completed, when the rains came, once again, and the race was halted. Many were hopeful that the race would get back under way, but not Reutimann…he and his crew chief wanted it called off so that he could be declared the winner. One of the things that kept catching my attention were the announcers who kept saying…where is his faith? – He has no umbrella out. Now, this could be because he enjoyed the rain and would not mind being soaking wet, even if it meant that he would have to climb back into his 180 degree cockpit and finish. Fortunately, for him, the rains just kept coming, the race was eventually called off and he was declared the winner. But, this rainy season story does illustrate an interesting fact…and it does raise a question -- do we really take Jesus at His Word, all the time? Do we really regularly exercise humility of faith?

Many years ago, a drought in the South threatened crops and livelihood. In a small Kentucky community, a minister implored his congregation to come together for a special service…to pray for rain, and thus get relief from the drought. As the people began to fill the farmer’s field where they were all meeting, the preacher said, “In the Bible it says…the prayer of faith is answered.” “Yet, I don’t think that you people really believe that rain will come,” he continued. One of those assembled who spoke for many of them said, “We are here aren’t we?” “True,” said the preacher, “but where are your umbrellas? If you were here to pray for the gully washer that we need, you would have brought your umbrellas!”

This is the position that we find ourselves in from time to time in our faith. We say, “I believe,” but will I really crawl out on that limb knowing that it is going to hold up? We need to truly believe that the Lord can handle our cares, concerns and crises. In fact, we must know that the Lord is big enough to deal with our lives completely. It is often crises that focus us on what really matters in life. And it is through difficult experiences that we really find our direction. Blessed are we if we trust in the Lord for direction, believing in that which cannot be seen – this is truly the essence of faith. Life makes so much more sense for folks who seek the Lord with humility…and the result is that we can certainly have confidence in what direction that we’re ultimately going . Blessings,


No comments: