Here’s a newly-embraced belief of mine:
I believe that I can be a successful writer with a sustainable career. My day-to-day life would suggest that I’ve been wired to love all things visual and verbal, and that combining those two facets in a way that makes an impact brings me a whole lot of joy. I believe that this can be my full-time life. But am I living like that’s true?
Here’s a belief that holds true on a larger scale:
I believe that I have a limited amount of time on this earth. It’s a pretty safe bet as far as beliefs go, substantiated by the fact that no one sporting an all-burlap look from 400 BC has shown up at my local Starbucks lately. We don’t get to live here forever. I believe that. But am I living like that’s true?
Sometimes there’s a gap between what I believe and how I live in response to that belief. And I don’t think that’s necessarily bad. I don’t want to blindly believe anything and claim it as truth simply because I believe it. I can believe that turtles can fly from now until I’m 82 and spend the next few decades pushing them off buildings to see what happens. Hopefully I’d wise up after the first few rounds and admit to a mistaken belief. Otherwise, no amount of believing that turtles can fly will help them lift off before hitting the pavement. (For the record, I don’t have any repressed anger towards turtles…I don’t know where that analogy came from. Apologies to the animal lovers in the crowd.)
But when a belief is in line with what’s true about God and what’s true about the dreams He’s put in my heart…why do I drag my feet when it comes to living like it’s true?
A lot of times it’s out of fear that I might be wrong. What if I believe something and it turns out to be false, like in the turtle tragedy above? But I don’t think that I have to worry about that nearly as much as I think I have to (and if I’m going by Jesus’ standards, that amount drops to none at all). I’m learning more and more than when we are really all-in on God’s plan for our lives, no matter what that plan might be, the truth wins out in the end no matter how wrong our belief is in the beginning.
Prime example: for years I believed that I wasn’t creative. It wasn’t even that I didn’t believe it; I didn’t even think it was possible. And now, I’m trying to launch a whole career based on creativity of all kinds.
That’s truth rising to the top.
When our hope is in Christ, I don’t think we have to be afraid of how our lesser beliefs will pan out because our true north – the only belief that matters! – is set in stone. He promises that when we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires of our hearts. He knows what is in our hearts better than we do, and will bring that truth to the forefront in the end.
When fear isn’t causing the gap between belief and action for me, a lack of urgency usually is. Sometimes, as ridiculous as it seems to admit, I forget that time is limited. I forget that I only have so long to write what I dream about writing, only have so many nights to laugh with my mom or go fishing with my dad, only have so many opportunities to swing by a friend’s house just because or tell someone that Jesus loves him, no strings attached. I believe that time is limited, but I often live as if it’s not.
Which is why I think I need to make the switch from living what I believe to living like it’s true. Because sometimes beliefs become a list (I even have one!) and then become little more than words on paper. But I don’t want to have beliefs that live on paper; I want beliefs that come alive in my everyday life. I want to live as if they are 100% true, and trust the Lord to correct my path if they aren’t.
“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.” – Walt Disney
(I think Walt got this one right.)