Back to Where We Started

October 11, 2012

Excerpt from Hebrews 3:7-19

"Hold firmly to the end the confidence we had at the beginning."

Reflection by William C. Green

In his book Souls on Fire, Elie Wiesel retells the old tale of a poor Jew named Isaak who dreamt he would find treasure in a distant city under a bridge that led to the palace. Isaak decided to make the journey. Arriving at the palace he ran into a soldier guarding the bridge. He demanded to know what Isaak was looking for. Upon learning of his dream the soldier laughed. He said that if he paid attention to dreams he would have traveled far to the house of a poor Jew named Isaak and dug for treasure beneath the stove. So Isaak journeyed back home. Beneath his stove he discovered a great treasure. He hadn't realized he already had what he was looking for.

We start with "treasure" gifted us by God that we often think we don't have but hope to acquire: talent, strength, and the capacity to surmount hardship and challenge. As one everyday example - since according to surveys public speaking is feared as much as money trouble and almost as much as death - many of us are terrified to speak in public. But even if you think you're a miserable public speaker, something of God's spirit will speak through you regardless of how you judge and attribute this capacity. You won't know this until you do it and sometimes not until afterwards.

We've got more treasure now than any we want to obtain. We can't "hold firmly to the end the confidence we had at the beginning" if we don't have confidence in the beginning.  We have so much more going for us than we've realized!

Prayer

Keep me from expecting circumstances other than my own, or people whose approval I want, to give me what you already have, God. Amen.

About the Author
William C. Green is Vice-President for Strategy and Development, Moral Courage Project, NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and the author of 52 Ways to Ignite Your Congregation: Generous Giving.

Click to pre-order Hark! Advent Devotionals 2012 from the Stillspeaking Writers' Group.

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