Dare to Think it’s Possible

Daring to Believe – An Argument For the Cross

Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed.

John 20:8

I watched “Risen” recently. Whilst fictional – like “Ben Hur” – it was nonetheless a moving story. Since it was from the Roman Tribune’s perspective it didn’t need to try to slavishly follow the accuracy of the Gospels and allows for some poetic license.

If you’ve not seen it, I strongly recommend it. It begins with the Crucifixion and follows the initial Roman search for Jesus’s body, shows the bribing of the guards for their silence, and the slow realisation beginning to creep into the hardened soldier’s cynical existence that there is something very different here.

Anyone who’s read my stuff here knows I like movies. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade has a scene that sticks in my head. Indy stepping out onto the optical illusion bridge over the chasm.

Not as moving, granted, but a moment nonetheless.

Moments in movies like that make me look at my own life, and how things have impacted me. We all need to take time to reflect on what is going on in our world, our friendships need to be tended or they fall away. Our relationship with God is the same. Not many people deliberately decide to turn their back, it just happens over time. On average about half the people I knew through church 20 years ago don’t believe now, and from conversations I’ve had that seems to be the norm. Storms come and cause us to doubt or force us deeper into God, depending on a cornucopia of conditions.

There are moments we look at where we have a conscious choice to make. Decide on a path for our life.

Sometimes we have no choice but to face that decision, and sometimes we can defer it for a while, but eventually the decision needs to be made – and not making a decision is actually a decision in itself.

The defining moments in our lives lead us to where we are today. Me writing this blog is a result of hundreds of moments where I’ve had to choose a direction. Usually because of circumstances I had no control over.

My dad’s sister died in a fire in 1981. My brother in a road accident in 1985. Cancer took my mum’s parents in 1988 and 1991. My dad died of a brain cancer in 1999.

All of those events forced a choice onto me. Dare to believe, or walk away.

And there were other things I went through as well. The more “normal” growing up things like girlfriends, GCSE and A Levels, leaving home, getting married etc all made a profound impact on who and where I am today physically, emotionally and Spiritually.

I deferred the decision after Yvonne died in the fire. I was only 9 and it upset me. Robin dying in 1985 was the big one. I had to choose how to move forward. For nine months I put off the decision, then in the November I met Jesus in a very real, physical way.

And I dared to believe.

I dared to believe He could mend my broken heart. That He could soothe my soul. It was hard. I went to church already. I’d sung in the choir for years and now I was a Server, helping out during the service with preparations for communion, candle-bearer and Crucifer for ceremonies and services. But this was different. In those nine months I’d kept going through the motions, but my heart wasn’t in it.

Then I met and I dared to believe.

I dared to look to the Cross for my answers. I strive to docb877-military_helmet_and_cross so every day (some more successfully than others!)

I place my hope in the Cross. All my hope hangs there. At the end of the day, if you are Blessed by my writing then I am truly Blessed to offer it. But I write because Christ has put it in my heart to do so. In the movie (here I go again with movies) “Chariots of Fire”, Eric Liddell is challenged by his sister to abandon the Olympic games and follow his call to be a missionary. His reply is that while God made him able to teach, He also made him fast, and that when he ran he felt God’s pleasure.

I didn’t understand that until I began writing, and there is something in every single person reading this that will give you the understanding I now have. When I write (or preach) I feel God’s pleasure. I can feel Him cheering me on and that is when His presence is closest to me.

We were made for a reason. Atheists and agnostics claim it was random, but the mathematical odds of exactly the right conditions for life happening on this small, blue rock are remote. The likelihood of life “spontaneously” beginning is even more remote. It takes greater faith to believe only in science than to believe in a Creator who designed it!

I said this was an argument for the Cross. I guess it’s really more me trying to express the centrality of the Cross in my life, and why I believe it is time for us as a Church, irrespective of colour, native language or denomination to turn back and really examine our lives.

Are we living authentic Christian lives? Are we truly imitators of Christ?

If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to make the case?

For myself, I hope so. I hope these thoughts, usually written in the middle of the night – it’s 3am here as I’m writing now – would serve as some evidence of the presence of Jesus in my heart. That the words I speak in conversation and when I am alone and I think nobody can hear me would be the same. I want my heart to be so inclined to Jesus that people ask me what’s different about me.

But it all starts with the Cross.

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6 thoughts on “Dare to Think it’s Possible

    • Thanks Laurence. Always good to hear from people about the content.

      Why do you need to be brave? Have confidence in yourself – or rather in Christ in you.

      Your link goes to a site I can’t open except as gobbledegook on my screen. Looks like code (?html?) but I don’t understand it. I use a WYSIWYG program for posting as the last programming I did was 30 years ago in BASIC!

      Let yourself believe you can do all things through Christ.

      David

      Like

    • In 1991 I met the late Mike Yaconelli at Greenbelt in the UK. He was the keynote speaker and I was a 19-year-old kid who was very much still finding my feet with God – in fact I fell away for over a year shortly afterwards and accidentally came across one of the tapes from the weekend and put it on. The message was a very simple one but it snapped me back into Christianity, reminding me what I’d given my life to.

      When I met him, I asked him to sign a copy of his book, “Yak Yak Yak”, which if you can get hold of I highly recommend. All I had was this goofy looking pen I’d been given with a big purple fuzzball on the top with googly-eyes attached. I was nervous, and apologised for being so tongue-tied and nervous about meeting him. He replied that if anyone had a right to be nervous, it was a guy my size (6 feet tall, 240lbs) holding THAT pen to ask for an autograph!

      It shattered my nerves completely and we chatted for a few minutes. What I took away from that meeting was that we are all God’s children. We all have a calling. Right now, mine’s writing and – when the Lord releases the funds for it going to Kenya after a total of nine invitations now – to speak about my friend, Jesus.

      Don’t ever be afraid to greet a brother, Laurence. It’s an honour to hear from you!

      Shout out back from sunny Weston-Super-Mare in England! And follow what God puts on your heart.

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  1. Pingback: Author Interview – Judith Cranswick – The Fiona Mason Mysteries Series, All in the Mind, A Death too Far & Watcher in the Shadows | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

  2. David this the most inspiring post I read in recent months. Recently I have been surrounded with the negative gloom of the church in decline yet those us who love Christ including myself seem not to express what Christ mean for us in the way you have expressed it here.
    On my own blog I only occasionally talk about my faith yet like you say the cross is the centre of what I believe in. Thank you I have shared your post on facebook I hope you do not mind.

    Like

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