If you have been to a shopping mall recently, you know that it is the Christmas season. (I hope that was not your first clue.) At first glance one of the major department stores seems to be a faith-based organization. Their theme for this season is, "There are millions of reasons to believe."
Believe. Although it is often misused, It is a useful word in our vocabulary.
We often utilize it when we want to express hope for a desired outcome. If you are a sports fan you will often see signs at a ballgame with that one word on them: Believe. I suppose it is an attempt to express confidence that what many think is unlikely is about to happen. An upset is about to occur. An underdog is going to win.
Sometimes "believe" is employed to express an opinion about something.
I believe that I know some folks who are "good" people. My experience with those individuals causes me to conclude that they have proper priorities and principles. Their lives reflect an interest in and care for others.
I believe it is going to rain today. After watching TV and listening to the radio, the projections of Glenn Burns and Kirk Mellish point to the good possibility for precipitation.
I believe that I am reasonably healthy. Someone else might say, "You are in pretty good shape ... for an old man." After my recent annual wellness exam all the numbers and the opinion of my physician indicate that I am OK. Yeah, I know my cholesterol is a little high but Dr. Davis doesn't think it is anything to be concerned about.
I believe the economy is going to improve. Our currency is still devalued, the jobless rate is still high, and the housing market continues to struggle, but there are some positive indicators that things are getting better. I don't expect a dramatic and swift rebound, but we are heading in the right direction.
I believe that my wife loves me. On December 28 we will celebrate 42 years of marriage. She would not have tolerated me that long if she didn't love me. There are many examples of the things she does for me and the way she treats me that gives me confidence in her affection.
Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent. The countdown has begun on the Christian calendar toward the celebration of the birth of the Christ-Child. The next four weeks is a period of preparation for acknowledging that centuries ago God's love was demonstrated in a very visible and personal way. Jesus was born in a stable in a nondescript town to a very ordinary pair of parents. God came to earth in human form so that we might have hope and a future in this world and for eternity. Without a doubt this is the One Reason to Believe!
[Taken with permission from "Monday Morning in North Georgia," Nov. 29, 2010. North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.]