How many pairs of scissors do you have around your home and office?
I have a bunch, from ridiculously cheap scissors picked up at Ikea to quality shears like the ones reserved for cutting fabric or the ones used to trim my hair between visits to a professional. Some are used for knitting and needle work, one or two are used for art and there’s one really cheap pair for opening food packaging.
Last week I decided to begin the process of giving one of the cats a trim. It was hot and he seemed weighted down by all that Maine Coon fur. The electric clippers don’t work well when faced with his thick coat. As a first step, I grabbed the nearest pair of scissors when the cat was relaxed and laying next to me — small craft scissors with a rather dull blade.
The results are exactly what you’d expect.
Unfortunately, he is not keen about the electric clippers and doesn’t tolerate them, which means he’s stuck with a bad haircut for the time being.
We all know (not necessarily follow) the wisdom of using the right tool made with the best possible quality we can afford to do the job at hand.
In the spiritual life, the necessary tool is faith.
Cheap faith may look okay, but it’s a shortcut that doesn’t last long or hold up to the rigors of life. In the end it’s no bargain.
Real faith, I think, is like a costly investment to acquire the best. Such faith is a gut-level belief that defies what can only be perceived by the senses and education. It’s an awareness that on the other side of the veil lies what is most real. In part, this type of faith can only come from hearing the words of scripture (Romans 10:17) and, ultimately following their wisdom by applying them to our lives.
All of this is obtained through a combination of paying the required high price and receiving priceless grace. None of this is easy, and it’s definitely unfashionable and counter cultural. Nevertheless, we “stand only through faith.”
I’m intent on getting rid of any evidence of cheap faith cluttering my life. Like cheap scissors, cheap faith only leads to poor results. Timothy the cat with his bad looking haircut reminds me to skip the cheap stuff.