There are things that I desperately want to believe. There are those sustaining promises and life-giving values that I desperately want to hold onto in a world that's leaving us very little to hold onto. There are beliefs that I want to know to be unalterably true, wholly reliable, and uncompromisingly consistent. There are those fundamental beliefs that will sustain us despite the most rigorous efforts of a fallen world to explode and implode them. I want to intimately know them, engrain them deep within me, and live them out with great vigor. Oh yes, I want to believe.
More than that, I want to live a completely vigorous life in spite of whatever may assail me. I want to stand strong, stand tall, and stand confident in a manner that's entirely untouched by everything that seeks to touch me. I want to live life with joy, peace and an unassailable confidence that permits me to live robustly and fully. Oh yes, I want to believe. This week's article challenges us to believe in what's worth believing in, and to stand on our beliefs.
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Sincerely, Craig D. Lounsbrough, M.Div. Licensed Professional Counselor Certified Professional Life Coach
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I Believe - I Want to Believe
We always have, and we always will have the intrinsic need to believe in something. Life is a journey whose demands will always exceed whatever personal assets we might possess in an attempt to meet those demands. Life always has and life always will require more of me than I have within myself to give it. All of my accumulated resources meticulously gathered and shrewdly coordinated in the most strategic manner possible will always fall achingly short of meeting even the most primitive and pared down demands of living life. And because that's the case, I've got no alternative but to extend myself outside of myself and believe in things that are bigger than me. I not only need to believe, I want to believe.
I want to believe, especially in a world that seems to be falling apart in places that I never believed it would fall apart. In the midst of all of the unnerving unraveling that I am helpless to stop, there are things I'd like to believe to calm my heart and steady my soul. There's some sustaining and comforting beliefs that I doggedly want to hold onto that provide me a sense of desperately needed peace in the tumultuous storms that seem to be roaring across the landscape of our culture. I want to believe.
Yet, peace is not enough. To believe in something that can bring me peace, but whose power and reach ends at peace is simply not enough. I need more than that. I need something that can do more than just weather the storms of life and bring me out on the other side with as few bruises as possible. I want to believe in things that have relentlessly stood the test of time, every time, throughout all of time. I want to believe in things that won't fall to the abject recklessness of our times, this time or any time. But far more than that, I want to believe in things that can handily wrestle any storm into full submission. And I want to dare to believe in things that are so pristinely confident and courageously authentic that they could keep the next storm from ever daring to roll across the landscape of our culture again if we all simply chose to believe in those things. I want to believe.
I want to believe in things that have the breathtaking power and the unobstructed reach to reconstruct and reclaim whatever's left when the storm is over. I want to believe that storms are part of life and that they come into the sinful and fallen world that we live in as a natural part of our fallen existence. But far beyond that, I want to believe in things powerful enough and audacious enough to transform the wreckage of the storm right in the middle of the very storm itself. I want to believe in things that can reconstruct and reclaim in a manner that handily resurrects implausible beauty out of what seems to be unredeemable carnage. I want to believe that no storm ever conceived can come close to having the force or the power to dislodge or destroy the things that I believe in. I want to believe in believing because if I can't believe in something, what do I have?
What I'd Like to Believe
I Want to Believe That Mankind is Inherently Good
In the storms, I'd like to believe that mankind is inherently good. I want to believe that even though mankind can act in gruesome ways that push the edge of evil out to appalling places and reign destruction in ways previously unfathomable, that even then there is still some thread of something good weaving itself undaunted through the core of our core. I want to believe that we're lost, that we're drowning in greed and selfishness, and that we've taken to treacherous paths that descend to gaping depths of great atrocity. But I want to believe that those things don't define us. Despite our frequently heinous behaviors, I want to believe that we're better than that because I want to believe that there is no point that we could ever reach from which we cannot be redeemed. I want to believe that mankind is inherently good despite all the apparently inherent evil that would scream otherwise. I want to believe that there is enough good in all of us to be marvelously good if we've daring enough to ruthlessly rid ourselves of everything that keeps us from being marvelous. I want to believe this.
I Want to Believe That a Single Voice for Good is Never Too Small
I want to believe that a single voice for good has a vibrant tenor, a wholly unsullied tone, a dynamically firm volume, and a magnetic quality about it that it will always be heard above, and around, and beyond any chorus of evil despite how loud it might be. I want to believe that voices for good always have an undeniable and unapproachable genuineness about them that renders all fraudulent voices completely exposed and entirely drown out. Too often it seems that a single voice for good is quickly submerged under the surging tsunami other voices which are anything but good. Evil and treachery seem to be boisterous and arrogant, bellowing with an unashamed narcissistic quality that aims to quash any voice with even the remotest hint of good in it. I want to believe that a voice for good will incessantly rise above the most bellicose volume that evil can produce, and that it will always render evil frustrated in its inability to drown out a single voice for good. I want to believe that single voice can do exactly that. I want to believe this.
I Want to Believe That Good is Eternal and Evil is Temporal
I want to believe that evil is not part of what this was originally all about. I want to believe that evil was not an original component of creation as it was sketched out on the original drawing board innumerable eons ago. I want to believe that evil is an infestation that wormed its way into our existence and as such can be eradicated because it is an infestation, and only an infestation. I want to believe that it is a cancerous plague that has no claim of originality in the original design. I want to believe that evil is a temporary foe that lives on a short leash of time, and that every battle finds that leash shortened one more constricting link. I want to believe that good will ultimately exterminate evil in a manner so complete that every battle will be forever laid to rest, and that the memory of those battles will likewise be laid to rest, and that good itself will be able to securely rest for the rest of eternity. I want to believe this.
I Want to Believe That God Uses Evil to Advance Good
I want to believe that God will not be thwarted by the greatest exploits that evil can conjure up. I want to believe that evil will always find itself obliterated by its own evil as God seizes it, shapes it into invincible good, and then sends it hurtling right back into the heart of the very evil from which it came. I want to believe that the greater the treachery and the more profound the wickedness, the more substance God has to mold good from. That in the hands of God, everything vile is the raw material from which He can forge something astonishingly marvelous. And that everything foul provides the very flames within which these good and great things are forged. I want to believe that in the firing, that which God has forged becomes something so hardened that the most intense fires of evil itself cannot even remotely singe it. I want to believe that as evil escalates in intensity, it only creates a greater abundance of raw material from which good is forged, fired, and fired against evil. I want to believe this.
I Want to Believe that Believing is Not Childish
Believing is not childish nor is it naïve. It's not some escapist refuge where the weak flee in the face of the daunting cultural upheavals that now beset our culture and hound those of us who believe. Believing will make us a ready target for those who don't believe, and it will draw skeptics and naysayers to us as bees to honey. Believing means that we invest in what we can't see, we hand ourselves over to that which we can't control, and we cast our lot with the eternal verses the less demanding demands of the temporal. Belief is not for the frail or faint-hearted as belief will demand belief of us, which is a demand far beyond most anything else in our lives. And because of those realities, I want to believe.
Believing is being courageous enough to relentlessly hold onto the truth even when the derogatory actions of everything around us would attempt to entirely discredit the truth, smear the truth, and completely supplant it with falsehoods dressed in the look-a-like garments of truth. By making the uncompromising commitment to stand on our beliefs, we declare that the truth on which we have chosen to stand is nothing of unreliable myth or childish fantasy. And that will certainly draw the ire of many. Believing is standing on the truth even when everything else around us has fallen into cinders and ash, and the truth on which we're precariously standing continues to be pounded by everything that hates the very truth that we're standing on. And for all of those reasons, I want to believe.
I Want to Believe in God
Believing is costly. Believing is sacrificial. Believing is what the majority of the world doesn't have the guts to do, but it is the only thing to do. I want to believe this. And of all the things that I want to believe, I want to believe in God above and beyond all of them. To believe in God in the face of everything that would tell us not to believe is the highest calling of mankind, and the greatest feat of our existence. To believe in God is to extend ourselves beyond our finite existence and cast our belief out into the unfathomable reaches of the infinite. To believe in God is to stake our lives on something that the world declares as a mistake. But to believe in God is to wager everything on the person who created everything, and no mistake could ever arise out of that. Without God, I don't have the capacity to believe in anything else anyway as everything emerges from Him. And so, I want to believe in God, I want to believe in every one of His promises, and I want to believe in all of the things that He allows me to believe in. I want to believe. With all my heart I want to believe. And I want you to believe as well.
© 2014 Craig Lounsbrough, M.Div., Licensed Professional Counselor