I have often wondered what belief tangibly looks like. Each time I think I am looking at a good example, something blocks my view. Examples include the time when I found someone professing to believe in a God similar to my own. Initially I thought he was a model for belief only to discover later that it was all make believe. There was the time I thought I had met an honorable man. He walked the walk, talked the talk. It was a great example until money was part of the equation. In that moment, his belief vanished as if on holiday. The variations on these themes are many. In each case, greed, gratification, or fear brought out the worst that had been hidden within.
In recent days, I have seen belief in action. I could sense it the first time we met. With the confirmation that comes through a range of situations, I know it is the real thing. The discovery reminded me of an excerpt from an old wisdom story. The dialogue then went like this.
“The first thing he said was, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?’
‘We’ve never even heard of that—a Holy Spirit? God within us?’” (Acts 19.2)
I realize I am stating the obvious, but belief is not a head thing, it is of the heart. The man I met this week believes with his heart. He loves the lodge his father created. He believes in his father’s approach to service. He is passionate about doing what is right – for the wilderness that sustains his business, for the clients that come for a great experience, and to treating others (employees, friends, and even strangers) with respect.
When I shut my eyes, I see him in action. I see him out on the boat, listening to his father, interacting with others, I see more than a man coming into his own. I see a believer.