Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)
A few years ago, Wendy and I had the good fortune of visiting friends just a few miles from Cooperstown, NY. We took the opportunity to drive to the Baseball Hall of Fame where we spent the day wandering through the museum there. We still talk about that day and how much fun we had.
I recalled that day as I read today’s chapter because it is a Hall of Fame of sorts for those historical characters who lived by faith. They were sure of what God asked of them and believed what they could not see or prove. We know very little about them or their lives other than the few strands that have been handed down to us through God’s Message.
I’ve often heard young ball players talk about their heroes from Cooperstown and how they strove to emulate them in their lives and the way they play the game. I always think it’s cool when young players find themselves in the Show for the first time playing alongside star players and future Hall of Famers that they grew up watching on television. I can only imagine what a mind-bending feeling that must be. We all need heroes in whose footsteps we can follow.
I know there are people who scratch their heads at my spiritual journey; There are those who wonder why I’m so into this God thing. Part of it, at least, is looking back at the timeless stories of people like Noah, Abraham, Rahab, Matthew, Peter, Paul as well as lesser known stories like that of Bonhoeffer, Lewis, Ten Boom or even the unknown stories of my grandparents and great-grandparents. Heralded or not, their lives counted for something much greater than themselves. They lived lives of belief and not of doubt. They acted on an inner assurance that what they could not see was more important than what they could. They belong in a Hall of Fame of eternal significance, and in the grand scheme of things I want to follow in those footsteps.