The word “believe” is more complex than people give credence to when they initially see or utter the word. At times it may even belie what we intend to express with its utterance. Even the accepted definitions of the word seem to almost contradict one another: “accept something as true…feel sure of its truth” vs. “hold something as an opinion…to think or suppose”. Even the synonyms are intellectually scattered: “trust, hold, maintain, accept” vs. “think, feel, assume, suppose.”
A thing cannot necessarily be both a truth and an opinion. Frankly, many times an opinion holds no truth and some truths do not coincide with an individual’s opinion. However, both require a choice. One must choose to accept a truth and/or choose to hold an opinion. In your human experience do you feel more secure in trusting and holding something or assuming and supposing something?
The picture above is the roof of our home just outside my daughter’s bedroom window. She took the picture on the morning of last Christmas. Now although we ultimately determined the depicted prints to be most likely those of frolicking squirrels, she initially and truly was overcome by a child like twitterpation that Santa and his reindeer had landed on the roof. She is sixteen years old and had stopped “believing” in Santa some four or five years earlier. But in that moment, she got it, and she believed again. The concept of Santa is not inherently a magical man landing on and taking off roof to roof. It is the spirit of benevolence and giving. The myth is in fact based upon history and reality…St. Nicolas. Abigail accepts and trusts that core belief…to give and to love is good.
I believe in Jesus Christ, the son of God, and our Savior sent in human form. There are numerous historical records and artifactual evidence that prove of his existence. They are too numerous to point out and not the juxtaposition of this writing. We will accept he was a human being that lived in our historical timeline. I accept, trust, maintain, and hold he was real and he was sent by God to dwell on this Earth for a specific purpose. I am happy and at peace in that realization.
What do you choose to believe? Are you of the opinion that he was a person, but with no real purpose and certainly not one with a divine manifest destiny? He was just a man, a common Jew, that for some reason was depicted and recorded in historical annals for two millennium? The manner of his death was important for the Romans to record even though they had crucified thousands of men and women before him?
OR…do you choose to accept and maintain he was more than a man? Christ was a figure that demanded representation and recording? Christ transcended the common place and the ordinary happenstance? Christ had a significant story in the history of mankind?
I would submit the latter is more realistic and rational, and I accept and trust it. It comforts me. I choose to BELIEVE that. I have faith in that fact. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1.
Believing is a choice. People today are low to trust and accept. People want to argue and hold to their opinions. Convictions and opinions are important. However, to choose to believe in a “man” who was the ultimate example of benevolence and love is not contradictory to other convictions and opinions. To maintain and trust the ideal and teachings of Christ only makes us all better human beings. I invite you to trust in the assurance of what we cannot see and hold hope. Believe in Jesus Christ for he “appears” to us daily. Whether it be in squirrel prints upon on a roof, an unexpected show of kindness, the avoidance of accident, or even the strength and lesson gained from tragedy; the hope and assurance of Jesus Christ is evident in our daily lives if we only choose to see it and believe it.
~ Sean Francisco