“All you need is a mustard seed of faith in order to move mountains,”
No offense to all those Sunday school teachers that tried really hard to explain this to me, but honestly it never made any sense. I mean, come on, have you ever seen a real mustard seed? It’s close to being invisible.
The other day, during our Israel study trip, our group was out doing a bit of hiking on the Cliffs of Arbel. There we were, standing on the edge of beautiful cliffs with views that reminded me of the Princess Bride and the Cliffs of Insanity. I faithfully followed our guide to the edge of the first downward slope and realized that my heart started to quicken.
Because lately, I’ve been learning to walk in a new way. Three weeks ago, I was in a walking cast and entertaining ideas of needing to bring the appendage with me on this trip.
Some members of our group were sprinting ahead up and over the rocks, while others were staying behind to bring up the rear. Me and my weak and struggling ankles ended up somewhere in the middle of the pack.
But guess what?
My mustard seed faith seemed really small in this moment and yet, extremely necessary.
I took every step remembering where I had been these past few months and choosing to be present to where I was at – I had to move at an intentional pace.
I felt the mountain with my hands as I secured places to counter my balance. I saw every littered drop of goat dung scattered on the cliffs as a pathway to follow. I heard our guide call out instructions for where a foothold could be found. I smelled the rosemary growing between the rocks as it brushed against my cheek. I tasted the sweet drops of water when I paused to look back at what I had climbed.
I wonder if the disciples were surprised when Jesus told them that they didn’t need more faith that the tiniest seed? Did they too feel that their faith was an almost invisible amount? Yet is faith really faith if it is not put into practice, brought out into the light of day and engaged with?
The Cliffs tutored me that day in something that those dear Sunday school teachers tried really hard to give me all those years ago. I needed to grow into holding my tiny seed of faith and putting it into practice, even with shaking, weak ankles.
Maybe faith is risky because it requires not knowing how the story will end.
Too often I want to exchange my faith for fact and when I do this, I misplace my tiny mustard seed (after all it is rather small and easy to loose). Thankfully God invites us all to cliff hikes in life where we get to put into practice this tiny little seed called faith.
We get to actively be a part of the very vast journey in which our Creator offers us an invitation to discover being created in the image of one who can use even a mustard seed of faith to move mountains.
Ankles are sore, but I found my mustard seed of faith…