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  • Writer's pictureCoco

Coco Calling No.232 - “Ants in the Pants” of Our Faith

Parrots have a bit of an extrovert image to live up to. We all want to be viewed as “top bird,” so outwardly, we like to appear confident, look beautiful and have something of a swagger about us. In the natural world, all creatures have to project an upbeat image to hide any weakness, sickness or insecurity. And this also applies to humans…

I’ve noticed a human sub-species that like to strut their stuff around in a place called “Parliament.” Here they stand up and make confident speeches, giving the impression that they know what they’re doing, when in fact they haven’t really got a clue. And so you could say that their lives are really something of a pretence. And it’s not just politicians that like to project a false image. This same “pretence” often applies to pop stars and businessmen, to actors and actresses, and to humans that like to promote themselves on social media. It all amounts to a rather hollow existence; one in which image dominates over real substance.

In the Bible, Jesus often warned humans about “false prophets,” or in other words, about humans that claim to be something that they’re not. So it’s very important for Christians to be open and honest about their faith (or lack of it). Because there is no such thing as a “super Christian;” everyone that believes in God and Jesus falls short of the mark. And so it’s always very refreshing when a prominent Christian figure openly admits to their weaknesses and flaws. For example, there’s my old friend Pope Francis who once said:

“Who among us has not experienced insecurity, loss and even doubts on their journey of faith?....We’ve all experienced this, -me too.”

(Pope Francis: 1936 - present).

Another human that I have a lot of time for is C.S. Lewis, the academic who became a Christian convert, and who went on to write 30 Christian titles. He was blatantly honest about his own failings….

“I think the trouble with me is lack of faith…..often when I pray I wonder if I am not posting letters to a non-existent address.”

(C.S. Lewis: 1898-1963: Cambridge & Oxford academic who became a Christian convert and prolific Christian author).

And then we also have Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who, during the reign of Queen Victoria, was known as “The Prince of Preachers.” He once wrote:

“I do not believe there ever existed a Christian yet, who did not now and then, doubt his interest in Jesus. I think, when a man says, ‘I never doubt,’ it is time for us to doubt him.”

(Charles Haddon Spurgeon: 1834-1892: Prominent Baptist preacher).

And you know, none of us should ever beat ourselves up about our doubts or lack of faith. Even Jesus’ disciples, who lived alongside Him and who breathed in the very same air, had their serious moments of doubt. God will never condemn us for our weakness and fragility. In fact, maybe having the occasional doubt keeps us on our toes. That’s certainly what Frederick Buechner thought:

“Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith. They keep it awake and moving.” (Frederick Buechner: 1926 – 2022: American Presbyterian Minister, preacher and author).

Well I can tell you now that I’d perform a ‘Triple Salchow’ at the speed of light if I ever found any ants in my feathers! Maybe God can find another way of keeping me on my toes! And I’m sure that when we work through our doubts, we end up on a firmer foundation, and in the very place that God wants us to be!

“For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

(Matthew 7:8)

“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labour in vain…” (Psalm 127)


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