This past weekend, my mom came for a visit. My mom had already been to the typical touristy places, so I decided I would take her to some of the obscure places that I enjoy. One of those places is Lake Pontchartrain. I like to go to the lake and read sometimes. The lake is beautiful and feels almost like the ocean. This weekend, I learned why the lake feels almost like the ocean…
While driving my mom to the lake, I got a little turned around. (I wish I could tell you I’ve mastered the NOLA streets, but lost is still my typical state…it just comes with fewer breakdowns now.) Before I knew it, I was on the Causeway. “No big deal,” I thought, “I’ve been on the Causeway before.” What I didn’t know was that the part of the Causeway I had been on was not the more well-known part of the Causeway…it was more like the on-ramp. Moments later I found myself on this crazy bridge with no shoulders, incredibly low guardrails, surrounded by water. The bridge was a little nerve-racking, but I figured it would end soon and then we could go see the part of the lake I intended my mom to see.
In the midst of this, my mom calmly asked, “Does this lake have a horizon?” I really didn’t think it mattered at that moment whether we’d see the sunset, so I replied “I have no idea” and tried to move on to the matter-at-hand…getting OFF the bridge. My mom explained that she was trying to ask if you can see the other side of the lake from the shore. She went on to explain that she thought she remembered reading that the causeway was the longest bridge over water in the world.
Well, my mom was right. Over six miles into the lake, we found a “crossover” and turned back around. We later discovered that the bridge is over twenty miles long. I’ve driven over some pretty frightening bridges, but that one set me on edge the rest of the night. I kept thinking about what that must have been like to drive over during Katrina. My mom very astutely observed that I would probably not be getting on that bridge any time soon. She’s absolutely right.
The scariest part of the causeway experience was the surprise, the unknown. I told my mom later that it wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d just known what that was going to happen.
That reminds me a lot of faith…or my groanings about it.
The past year I’ve learned a lot about faith. Faith is absolutely NOT my spiritual gift.
Moving to New Orleans was a step of faith that I can honestly say was all God. I would never have done that without Him (in fact, I hesitated with Him). But practicing faith didn’t end with quitting my job, packing my car, and driving to the bayou. That was just the beginning. Praise God I had no idea what was coming.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
From a human perspective, that’s just crazy. It makes no sense whatsoever.
But for me that’s been the past 8 months. Most of the time I’ve trembled with fear or doubted or asked God to make it easier. I haven’t had a walking on water or a parting the Red Sea moment (though I did drive over water). Mine’s more been like “look God, I didn’t have to ask to see your nail-piercings today!”
But nonetheless I’ve seen God help me step out in faith. I’ve seen the importance of being sure that God is who He says He is….even when there’s no horizon.