It seems so easy, this thing called faith. All you have to do is whatever God asks of you.
But it's not so easy.
It's not so easy because we've come to believe that sometimes, God sets you up to fail. Sometimes, God asks you to do things that just aren't going to work out. Sometimes, God gets you in trouble. So sometimes, when you just do whatever God asks, you're a sucker.
You're walking blind into the unknown, and why? Because you believe in a thing called God? We've come to believe that even this is no assurance. Even God Himself is no promise. You could do every faithful thing in your entire life, and things still might not work out.
Faith, this world will tell you, is foolish.
And this world would be right.
See, faith is foolish because it refuses to believe in itself. Faith refuses to buy the idea that faith itself is much of anything at all. For most people, if you knew that everything you do would work out for the best, wouldn't you become arrogant? Wouldn't you become conceited? Wouldn't you become, at least, confident in your own ability to work your way through the world?
Faith knows that everything it does works out, and this only makes faith more humble. It's foolishness! At least in the world's eyes. But it's true.
When faith discovers how real it really is, it becomes stilled. It quiets itself. It starts taking deliberate, intentional steps forward into the world, contemplating at every step just what it means that this one step is faithful.
It means this step is a step in the right direction. It means that the place you're going actually exists. It means something good is happening right now. It means this one step is yet another affirmation, not only of faith, but of the Faithful One who guides those steps. Faith can barely stand to speak. It can barely stand at all. Faith is that fortitude it requires to take one more step when all you want to do is fall to your knees.
Faith keeps walking past the end of imagination, into all the places that are beyond man's wildest dreams. It walks, knowing that each step draws it closer into the heart of God. It reaches out and touches the world, knowing that in its touch is something special. Faith feels the power coursing through it, and it struggles under the weight. What a burden faith is! ...for it requires a man to know the secrets of the universe and find a way to whisper them to the world.
It requires him to talk foolishness to a world that will laugh in his face. To radiate joy in a quiet voice. To dance in subtle steps. To smile that little smile that makes him want to close his eyes and just imagine, just worship for a little while, but faith requires a man to live with eyes wide open.
Yes, faith is foolish.
But faith is not foolish because it believes. It is foolish because it knows.
I don't know where we got this idea that God is setting us up. That God is somehow guiding us all deeper into the wilderness, to wander for the rest of our years and never quite reach the Promised Land. Even if that were true...even if that were true...God's done some pretty amazing things in the wilderness.
The real truth, though, is that God's not setting you up. He's setting you down. He's putting you firm on holy ground. Sacred space. Amazing grace.
And it just drives you to your knees. You'd fall for faith forever, if faith itself didn't require you to stand.