The Vision of Faith
In 1977, in Tallahassee, Florida, Laura Shultz, who was 63 at the time, picked up the back end of a Buick to get it off her grandson’s arm. Before that time, she had never lifted anything heavier than a 50-pound bag of pet food.
Dr. Charles Garfield, author of Peak Performance and Peak Performers, interviewed Ms. Shultz after he read about her amazing feat. When Dr. Garfield initially met with Ms. Shultz at her home, she kept resisting any attempts to talk about what she called “the event.” Instead, she simply wanted Dr. Garfield to eat breakfast and call her Granny, which he did. Finally, Dr. Garfield convinced Ms. Shultz to talk about “the event.” She said she didn’t like to think about it because it challenged her basic beliefs about what she could and couldn’t do – about what was possible and impossible. Ms. Shultz said, “If I was able to do this when I didn’t think I could, what does that say about the rest of my life? Have I wasted it?” Charlie convinced her that her life was not yet over and that she could do whatever she dreamed. Ms. Shultz revealed that she’d always loved rocks. She had wanted to study geology, but her parents only had enough money to send one child to college and her brother won out. So, at 63, with a little coaching from Charlie, Ms. Shultz went back to school to study geology. She eventually got her degree and went on to teach at a local community college.
I’ve read that the number one problem keeping people from winning in life is a lack of faith. Faith helps us to see the possibilities of tomorrow. Faith quiets our doubts, erases our fears and motivates us to do what needs to be done. As Rev. Burt Howe offers, “Wherever there is faith, hope, and love – the best days are to be.” Faith disburses distractions, eliminates the noise and provides focus on the things most important to us. As Muhammad Ali once said, “It’s lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges…”
So how to change? Let’s be realistic – faith is that intangible belief, a trust in something we can’t completely control. Martin Luther King, Jr. described faith as, “taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Voltaire said, “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” Certainly this was the case for Ms. Shultz – in a moment of crisis, she believed she could lift several tons to save her grandson, even though it went against all logic and reason.
So it seems you first have to choose to believe. Believe in yourself, your friends or family, a higher power, a positive outcome…whatever or whomever, you need to commit yourself completely. A wholehearted conviction of faith is what allows us to align our time, energy and resources with our goals and objectives. 100% concrete, unyielding faith paves the way for moving mountains.
I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing is impossible for you.
Metaphor or analogy? Maybe. But what if multitudes of people translate their faith into action by grabbing a pick and a shovel to create change – one stone, one brick, or one handful of dirt at a time. Any mountain can be moved – even those of scarcity, poverty, disease, intolerance, and injustice – if we have enough people shoveling. And don’t forget that the little mountains in our own lives can be moved as well. By refocusing our efforts through faith, we can experience a brighter future. Action, transformed by faith can provide financial security, rewarding relationships, gratifying careers, and a healthier well-being.
Don’t block your dreams by allowing the weeds of fear to choke your faith. Don’t listen to the nagging voice inside that tells you that you can’t do something, be something, or change something. As Henry Beecher Stowe shared, “Every tomorrow has two handles – you can take hold of tomorrow with the handle of anxiety or with the handle of faith.” Grab that handle of faith – it will change lives, move mountains and help you go beyond “impossible” to “possible”.