Do you ever get the feeling that the project or job you’ve taken on is almost impossible? It feels like you’re trying to move a mountain and you only have a shovel to get the job done. Sometimes I get tired of trying to move mountains, even though Jesus said, “If you have faith and do not doubt, you will … say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done” (Matt. 21:21). Jesus never threw a mountain into the sea. Why would he say we could do it if we had enough faith?
Let me give you some thoughts about faith that might help you understand what he was suggesting. Jesus wasn’t talking about religious faith. Religious faith is about believing what various groups of patriarchal men decided about God, starting in the fourth century. Another word for faith is trust. Religious faith today is about trusting the decisions early men made and calling it truth. Lots of people have that kind of faith, but it’s not moving the mountains of hatred and violence in the world.
Faith is more than mere trust. It’s trust that empowers action. There are some other words that help to describe trust of this intensity. Like conviction. Determination. Resolve. Persistence. Dedication. Commitment.
You don’t have to know how the job is going to get done ahead of time in order to have trust of this intensity. But it’s this kind of faith that opens the door to creativity and new possibilities. If you’re only open to doing things the way they’ve been done before, it’s like using a shovel and doing it yourself when, if you are open to new ideas, you could rent a couple of bulldozers and hire a few workers.
Open your mind to new possibilities. Be creative. Be determined and persistent.
I came across a TED talk by Dr. George Land that might be of help to you as you search for new possibilities. Briefly, he says the mind has two ways of thinking: divergent convergent. Convergence is about imagination, generating new possibilities. Divergence is about judgment, analyzing, evaluating, comparing. He says one (divergent thinking) is like the accelerator on a car and the other (convergent thinking) is like the brake. Too often we use them at the same time and this stifles the ability of the brain to be creative. He gives more details and it’s worth taking the time to listen.
What Land recommended reminds me of something I equate to “brainstorming.” To brainstorm is to set a time for coming up with possibilities for solutions without making judgments about their feasibility. Do it yourself or with a group of people. Don’t criticize anyone’s ideas. One idea can lead to another. There will be nay-sayers who say, “We can’t do that because…” but that is using convergence at the same time. Don’t judge or reject any idea. That’s negativity and negativity never opened the door to new ideas. Be open to every possibility. Accept every idea without criticism. Allow your openness to generate new thoughts and possibilities.
And throw in the element of faith—trust that empowers action, determination, resolve, conviction that it can be done, and you will begin to understand how your mountain can be cast into the sea. Believe in yourself and your ability to get it done. Your anxiety can be calmed knowing that there are some ways of approaching the task ahead that make it possible.