This I Believe

Paige - Healdsburg, California
Entered on March 18, 2007

Movies, when I was little, told me that if I only believe, my dreams would come true. If I dreamed hard enough, a fairy godmother would appear, turn a pumpkin into a coach and take me to the ball, and then I, like Cinderella, would live happily ever after. Some people still live like this.

When my little sister was about six, she wanted to be a mermaid when she grew up, and she wanted to marry Han Solo. And in her six year old life, she really believed that when she was older, she would sprout a tail, grow gills and be joined in holy matrimony with a rebel on the edge from outer space. As she got older, she gradually understood that that just wasn’t going to happen, though she still believed in other, less weird, things. Some things people believe are stranger than that, but believing does not make things so.

The children in adults’ bodies let the world take care of them, believing that success and fame will come without much effort, coasting on the breeze, and when an ill wind comes along, they do not know what to do. They are really the victims of their belief and those who told them to “just believe.” What did they really believe in?

Some of you might think that this means I do not believe in God or, perhaps, anything at all. This is not true. I believe quite the opposite. Not deeming God an actual entity does not make Him disappear in a puff of unbelief, anymore than believing that I do not need oxygen prevents me from fainting when I decide to stop breathing. Believing in Him is one of the most important things in my life, but this belief is backed up with action. I make it a regular practice to learn all I can about the Bible and to spend time in prayer everyday to grow closer to Jesus. (I know this sounds clichéd, but so what?)

Believing is important and necessary for life, but without proof or acts, belief can be useless or even harmful. Baseless belief has brought wasted lives and pain. However, belief with a ground in truth and actions can change the world.