A reflection on my faith journey
I was watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade the other night and I couldn’t help but notice that the paralells in my personal quest for better faith are uncanny. In this blog entry I hope to show these paralells and how they may apply to your faith life.
First thing I noticed is that Indy starts his quest for the Grail with his father’s diary and his dad by his side. We too start with a book; the Holy Bible. Thru Scripture we gain the basis of all things in our faith life. One cannot gain faith and know Jesus Christ without reading Scripture. Also we will hopefully have family or friends in the faith to guide us along. Faith is a community effort and thrives much better when more than one person is involved. Jesus himself knew this when He said “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)
Indy had the Nazis chasing him at every step trying to halt his quest. In the same way we have the trio of Satan, the world, and our own flesh. Satan tries to convince us the quest is not worth the trouble and that the faith is useless in the end anyways. The world tries to seduce us away from the quest and instead pursue mindless pleasures and fickle faithlessness. The flesh tries to compel us to follow its own desires, not paying heed to the faith or to Scripture. All three obstacles must be overcome before the next phase begins. The parable of the sower as written in Matthew 13 illustrates this point.
Finally Indy reaches his destination in the Canyon of the Crescent Moon, much like deeper faith is within ourselves after much prayer and silence with God. But it’s not over yet. More challenges await…
The Breath of God
When you first go into deeper faith, it looks scary, like you cannot see the other side of what it looks like. When you step forward and the way seems clear, Satan immediately tries to strike you down with fear, insecurity, pride, or whatever else will work to get you off track. Indy found this out when he ducked and rolled thru the spinning blades. The hint is in the diary, “Only the penitent man will pass.” God values humility above all else. Kneeling before God in humility is key in the quest for better faith. But it doesn’t end there. There is a second trap, dear reader, as signified by the second whirring blade. Satan wants you on your knees for the rest of your faith life, dwelling on your sins and having you believe that you cannot or will not be forgiven. Humility will get you thru this second trap if you acknowledge that yes you are a sinner but Jesus died for your sins and thus you are forgiven if you seek it. Thus you can move on to the next step…
The Word of God
Remember that the Holy Bible is called the Word of God as inspired by the Holy Spirit. As Indy followed in the “Footsteps of God” to spell IEHOA, so must we follow in the footsteps of God as outlined in Scripture. It is important to follow Scripture closely lest we lose our footing as Indy almost did. Instead we must do as Jesus commands in Matthew 5:48: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Which leads to…
The Path of God
Weariness. Spiritual dryness. The Dark Night of the Soul. Whatever you call it, aridity of faith is going to happen. I myself can recall several periods of doubt…feeling like a failure, feeling like God had abandoned me or was a million miles away. It is a natural consequence of seeking God in a quest for deeper faith. You can see the other side of it but have no idea how to get there. Turns out the secret is to take a breath, refocus, and trust that God has you. Imagine what Indy was thinking when the bridge appeared beneath him. I would imagine a “Thank you God” crossed his mind. Or perhaps Isiah 41:10…”So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Lastly you come to the goal, the inner faith and peace you seek. But you must choose and choose wisely. Tempation is still lurking to try to lead you astray. Satan is on guard seeking to undo any progress you’ve made. And of course you may need to repeat a few steps to maintain your faith. So you must choose…do you drink from a carpenter’s cup and continue to pursue the faith with humility and trust in God? Or do you give in and drink from the world’s shiny cup that takes life? Indy made the right choice. I pray you do the same. God bless!