To see beyond the present is Wisdom, but to see beyond possible is Faith.
I don’t remember whom to reference for this quote. It has stayed with me because it’s so inspiring. Faith has infinite energy. Faith stretches the boundaries and moves the soul to seek the impossible. Wisdom may stop at the first finish line.
Pat Riley, erstwhile coach of Los Angeles Lakers, earned a patent for the word “Three-peat’. What he meant was that the Lakers who had just won their second straight NBA championship should not rest on their laurels. Few NBA teams had repeated as champions consecutively. He pushed them to go for the unprecedented, a third consecutive win. The Lakers did win their third championship. Riley’s famous word got patented and made it to our lexicon uncontested.
Why doesn’t wisdom tell the heart to want more, dream more, and attain the impossible? Why is faith the designated energizer? If I wanted to experience more of the extraordinary than I already have, why couldn’t I move forward seeking more? Do we sometimes assume that people may view our drive as over-zealousness or over-ambitiousness? Is wisdom a calculating sloth that says: What I‘ve got is enough for now. Extra effort will get wasted and usurp what someone else so deserves. Shouldn’t then the World Series champions of major league baseball step aside, cool it off, and give the perennially cursed Chicago Cubs a shot at immortality for once, deserving or not?
In Mark 10:46, we are told of Bartimaeus, the blind man whom Jesus Christ healed. Now, here’s someone who needed no extra pushing. He is what you may characterize as someone having blind faith, pardon the pun. You would think that people would give Bartimaeus a free pass to a ringside seat when Christ came by on His way to Jericho. Everyone knew he did not have much. He owned but a garment. He was homeless. The worst of it is that he was blind. He was nothing – an unnecessary blip in their challenged collective conscience, an irritating speck on their eyes.
The Christ was coming! Opportunity, for once, knocked on Bartimaeus’ doorless home. Wisdom whispered: Don’t come too close. Keep a safe distance. You can get hurt. You are blind, just remember that.
The mystery of faith is that God gives it to us, puts the prayers in our hearts, and moves our lips to shout it out, to go forward and show our faith through action. God just wants us to cooperate. Bartimaeus cooperated big-time. He planted himself real close and shouted,” Messiah, heal me!”
Those words got patented in the New Testament, and made Bartimaeus forever famous. The crowd tried to stop him to no avail since his faith had overtaken his street smarts. This blind man made his faith public, thus touching Jesus. He gave Bartimaeus the opportunity to affirm his faith in a very public manner. Jesus asked: “Do you really believe that I can heal you?” God was really asking him: “Do you really believe I can save you?” Bartimaeus had proclaimed earlier: “You are the Son of David. You are the promised Messiah.”
We all need either physical or spiritual healing. Our Savior can heal us, but He waits for us to draw near, and to put our trust in Him.
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