Is the Point of Faith Getting God to Do Stuff For Us?

Yes, faith can move mountains, but often God hands you a shovel first.

Posted in , Sep 17, 2019

Is faith about having God do stuff for us?

When my son came home from his month-long summer sailing internship this summer, he had a book titled Twenty Affordable Sailboats. Mind you, we live in Manhattan. Affordable is an adjective I rarely use.

My son seemed to think (perhaps because he is 15) that buying a sailboat is a viable option. Since I am 100% in favor of empowering my children to pursue their dreams, I said cheerfully, "If you can afford it, go for it!"

Surprisingly, this was not the answer he anticipated. He seemed to think I should buy him a boat! 

Well, no. I told him that I thought saving for his college education might be a better use of family resources. This view was not met with enthusiasm; my son seemed to think we should be able to do both.

In the discussion that ensued I refrained from saying that even if I could buy him a boat, I wouldn't. A big part of growing up is learning that being handed what you want has almost nothing to do with happiness. Happiness has far more to do with adaptability, resourcefulness, rebounding from disappointment, knowing your goals (and limitations) and faith.

Faith is key. I am fond of saying to my kids that faith can move mountains...and the way that often happens is God hands you a shovel. He might even give you friends with shovels to help. But faith isn't about God doing stuff for us, any more than it's about parents doing stuff so kids don't have to. Faith is about us working with God, using our skills and energy and love.

The upshot is that my son is not getting a boat. It took a while to help him work through that disappointment. On the other hand, he has now figured out how he can get Competent Crew certified. That is something I will help him do. Because assuming he does the work and still wants to sail, being certified means that he can take a gap year before college and can sail around the world...employed

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