I’ve always had a vague desire to go to the baseball hall of fame. Now I’ve never been, but I’ve always imagined what it would be like, especially for a kid, to enter the halls that are dedicated to telling the stories of the best players the game has ever seen. So imagine with me for a moment, what it must be like. A seven year old kid just finished his first little league season and had a blast. Now he (or she) is walking up the steps and entering the hall of fame. The awe. The wonder. The inspiration. Two hours later the kid walks out with parents who can’t understand how she (or he) managed to stay in a museum for two hours without complaining and get to hear their kid say “One day, They’re going to have to make a space for me in there.”
You can imagine that right? You can imagine a kid walking out and being so inspired by stories of the greats that the only thing she (or he) can talk about for months later is the next little league season so he (or she) can get in some more practice.
Can you imagine that same kid walking out of the hall of fame (or maybe a different kid if it makes you feel better) shoulders slumped, head hung low and just utterly depressed saying “I’ll never be that good. I should just give up now”?
If you can imagine that then you are probably suffering some serious heartbreak right now and need to grab something with lots of chocolate in it. Go ahead, we can wait for you.
I bring this up because I’ve been reading and re-reading Hebrews 11 and feeling like dirt lately. I mean the heroes of faith, this is the Faith Hall of Fame right here and all I need are a couple of lines to make me feel inadequate; I don’t even bother reading biographies of men like Billy Graham or John Wesley (sorry if that’s kind of out of the blue there but it was the only other name I could think of this morning). Part of the rationale behind my discouragement is obedience. All of the people in Hebrews 11 were obedient to God’s will and God’s call and I have a habit of NOT doing that.
I’m really bad at the obedience thing. I wonder sometimes if God doesn’t look at me like Pastor Kevin looks at unruly and untrained broncs. Faith? I feel like the poster child for rebellious spirits some days.
And if your heart broke at the thought of a kid giving up baseball because of the Baseball Hall of Fame, how do you think God feels about His kids giving up ministry, or faith because of the Faith Hall of Fame?
It occurred to me today, either because I’m dense and it takes me a while to figure some of these things or because I’m still young and learning, that faith has nothing to do with anyone else. Faith has nothing to do with obedience, or ministry, or legacy. Faith is simply the answer to a simple question: Do you believe God loves you?
The Heroes of our faith all answered “yes” and if you can answer “yes” then this is nothing to compare. We are on equal footing as everyone else listed in Hebrews 11 because of our faith. This is what Paul is really getting at in this passage – that it doesn’t take massive efforts or works to please God, it doesn’t take a great story to enter the Hall of Fame, all it takes is faith; faith the size of a mustard seed.