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Willing to Believe

When Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, amazingly, the television cameras were there to record the event for a fascinated world. Of all the different images received from space at that time, or since then for that matter, one of the most life-changing has been the view of our terrestrial globe, the Earth, seemingly suspended by an invisible thread from who knows where. Many people felt that it changed absolutely their view of the planet. Yet difficult though it may be to believe, Britain's Flat Earth Society continued to cling to their horizontal view of the world. The hard evidence was there, but they were simply not willing to believe it. At first glance, the disciple Thomas may almost appear as an equivalent of the flat earth theorists.

The other disciples had all expressed their belief in the risen Lord, but Thomas was sceptical. He wanted proof. But unlike the flat earth people, or many atheists, Thomas was open to the possibility of belief, even though at the time he could not see how it could possibly be true. It may not have been an easy road for an honest disciple, but he was quite clearly willing to believe.

In our own day, we can't wait until we have the proof that we may want; it will never come. But we will be blessed indeed if we go with the evidence we have – give ourselves to as much of God as our minds can grasp and our spirits can conceive. We need to be willing to believe.

'What is the wind?' the young lad asked the sailor. The seasoned sailor looked at the sky for a long time, then turned to the boy and said, “Son, I can't tell you what the wind is. But I can hoist a sail!”

There is another story, of a famous German theologian who was out walking on the moors on a grey and misty day, when he came across a boy flying a kite. The kite was at a great height, and with the mist as well, it couldn't be seen. “'How do you know it is still there?” the professor teased. And the boy replied, “Because I can feel the pull of it.”

Perhaps there's a parable there for us. Perhaps we can feel the pull of God deep inside us, and we are able to know that God is really there.

Rev. Dr. Clive W. Ayre

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