Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New blog location

After my last post, I decided that I am tired of Blogger. So I moved all of my stuff to a WordPress blog. All of my future posts will go there now. So change your RSS subscriptions, or subscribe for the first time! Check it out and let me know what you think! Go to http://jaborch99.wordpress.com.

What does living by faith look like?

So what does it mean to live by faith? And how does living by faith relate to one's level of passivity in life? In other words, does living by faith mean that I stop spending so much time trying to plan for life and "take life into my own hands"?

This is a dilemma for me because I usually associate a greater level of passivity with irresponsibility. Therefore, I usually try to have a plan, to foresee as many possibilities as possible and have a plan of action for as many of those possibilities as possible. This feels like taking responsibility and being proactive. However, when I don't have a clear picture of the possibilities, or when I see the possibilities but can't figure out a plan, I get stressed. Lately, my stress level has been greater than ever.

So this brings me back to my question: what does it really look like to live by faith? Does it mean that we take things one day at a time and really give no thought for tomorrow (Matt. 6:34)? I'll be writing a more extensive post on this in the future, and I'd like to get some feedback before posting. Your thoughts ...

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Foundation -- A Parable

There once was a young man who stood on a foundation. He was happy on this foundation, even proud. He like to look at people who were not standing on his foundation and point out how flimsy their foundations were.

"Look at my foundation!" he would shout. "It is made of the finest ingredients, unlike yours. If you are happy with your foundation, you must either be ignorant as to the nature of a good foundation, or you don't have the honesty to admit that my foundation is better! After all, everyone with a good and honest heart can see how much better my foundation is!"

There were others standing on the same foundation. The young man often found them to be pleasant. They would laugh and socialize with each other, and they would remind each other of how privileged they were to be standing on their foundation and not any of the others. Occasionally, someone on the foundation voice an opinion about the foundation with which not everyone agreed. "Our foundation is best because it is made out of concrete!" would be countered quickly with "No! Our foundation is best because it is made out of stone!" Each would get on hands and knees inspecting the foundation to find evidence that his theory was correct. At first they would each point out specks in the hardened foundation. When this was not convincing, they would chip small pieces of the foundation off to compare. When this was also not convincing, they would break larger chunks.

For a while the young man got caught up in the excitement of a debate, and argued strongly for which element he believed made the foundation strongest. But one day he stopped debating, investigating, studying, and shouting long enough to separate himself from his surroundings and look once again at the foundation.

What he saw nearly destroyed him. The foundation was cracked and had large craters. Walking around in on the foundation had become a dangerous endeavor, both for the potential of stepping in a pot hole and injuring himself, and because of the constant tendency of his fellow foundation-standers to barrage him with questions and suspicions at every turn.

His foundation was no longer as beautiful to him as it once was. He loved his foundation, but felt it becoming more and more dangerous. So he started asking questions: "Is my foundation really better than the other foundations? How do I know, having never seen the other foundations for myself?" At first, he tried to ponder these questions in his mind, but with time he started voicing them out loud.

"Why are you asking such silly questions?" one of his foundation's leaders would say. "If you are asking those questions, you must not believe that our foundation is truly the best," another leader would add.

The young man had seen these reactions before. Each time, the one who was asking the unacceptable questions was shoved off of the foundation into what he believed was a land of unstable and weak foundations. This fate did not appeal to him. When the foundation's leaders displayed such an attitude, he felt himself being edged more and more slowly to the edge of the foundation.

But, in spite of his best efforts to ignore them, the questions would not go away. So the young man had to make a choice. "Do I stay on the foundation that I love so much, but that is becoming more and more unwelcoming and dangerous for me, or do I step off of that foundation into a world of the unknown with the hope and faith that I will happen upon another foundation that is strong."

With fear, anxiety, and tears, he chose the latter. He walked across the foundation, stepping across cracks and crevices, once tripping on some debris from the investigations that were perpetually taking place. He came to the edge and turned around to look again at the foundation that he had loved standing on so much.

And then he closed his eyes, took a deep breath, braced himself, and stepped off of the edge. ...