I have written a few blog posts recently about how to build a better you. These writings came to mind as I started watching the weekly videos from the iLiving App. One video in particular was titled “Believe for Great Things”. This sparked blog posts like Journey from Thoughts to Results which describes how you can hold up your fingers and be reminded of the importance of your own thoughts as you travel towards the results you want in life.
Then I wrote about Your Mind Garden which is the place where you plant the seeds (thoughts) you want to grow. It takes preparation and work to have the proper soil to plant your seeds in if you want to be able to harvest the fruits of your beautiful garden. And now it’s time to turn our attention to belief and how it impacts our lives.
Warren G. Bennis once said, “Great things are accomplished by talented people who believe they will accomplish them.” This is my favorite quote from a great leader of this century. Now what good would a blog post be if it didn’t have a story from this ole cowboy that illustrates what I am about to expound upon? Here goes…
I once sat in a Sunday School class in the basement of the Cowboy Church that my Grandpa attended. I was probably 10 or 11 years old at the time. The teacher asked us if we knew the difference between belief and faith. I don’t remember the answers given, but I do remember the demonstration that followed. Apparently the answers weren’t sufficient for her, because the teacher walked over to the light switch and turned off the light.
From somewhere in the sudden darkness, she asked, “Which one of you believes that the lights will come back on when I flip this switch?” Silence ensued for awhile and then she asked the same question. “Who believes…” She was interrupted by a young cowboy about my age who said, “What if the power just went out, then the lights would not come back on when you flip that switch.”
The Sunday School teacher’s response has stuck with me through these many years. She answered,” If that is your belief, then you will have no reason to flip the switch, will you?”
The demonstration didn’t stop there. We continued to sit in the dark for what seemed like an eternity to me, only because I was scared of the dark, mind you. The teacher continued to talk about beliefs and how they affect what we do in life and all I could think of was getting those lights turned back on…
I couldn’t stand it any longer and stood up and felt my way to the wall and then towards the back of the classroom where I found the light switch. I quickly turned the lights back on so I would no longer be in the dark. The sudden outbursts from the other kids in the class let me know I should have warned them before I turned the lights back on. I guess it must have hurt their eyes. I, for one, was the happiest one in the class, because the darkness was gone and I could now see.
The outburst that came from the teacher scared me, because she let out a whoop and holler and then exclaimed, “Now THAT is FAITH!” Apparently she couldn’t have planned the outcome any better. She then told the class that we had just witnessed the difference between belief and faith. Belief is just the beginning and it is experiments based on those beliefs that lead to faith. Faith is a principle of power that moves us to action.
She turned to me, pointing that long index finger, and asked excitedly, “Why did you go and turn on that light, Pat, did you believe that it would turn on?” I sheepishly responded, not wanting everyone to know my fears of the dark, “Yes maam, I believed it and I turned the lights on so we could all see again.” Laughter broke out after someone blurted out, “I’m sure glad he did, because I’m scared of the dark!”
I learned a valuable lesson that day, belief is the beginning stages of faith. If you believe something to be possible, then the only way to be sure of your belief is to act and begin experimenting. Those experiments you perform will lead you in one of two directions.
- Your belief was based in truth and the results of you experiments will produce good results.
- Your belief was based on falsehood and the end results of your experiments failed.
I have experimented using my beliefs for many areas of my life and like Warren said, “Great things are accomplished by talented people who believe they will accomplish them.” Believe for great things and then set out to do those things that will improve your life.