I just finished watching the movie Faith Like Potatoes. My first reaction of the movie was to be very critical of it. It seemed like the story tried to fit too many different things in it…and the point of the movie was only made in the last ten minutes or so. There seemed to be no main theme really…but even in that God taught me a lot. Please hear me out.
I guess if I could have a theme for this blog it would be: what kind of faith does God ask of us? The main actor posed some good points in the movie, such as, “I’m so sick and tired of the church not being relevant.” “They’re like white washed tombs.” “Your faith has got to be real.” All of this speaks deeply to my heart.
These past few months I have felt an extreme dissatisfaction with the church that I know. I think I am starting to see the church from an outsider’s perspective a little more, but it seems to me like a country club. It’s just another thing to do. The church doesn’t reach out and touch the world…they’re off in their own little corner. We occasionally come out into the open but we have walls so high that no one outside even wants to come close. We’re prim and proper. What’s up with that? That’s not anything like the Jesus I know.
Then there’s the radicals…like the character in the movie. And honestly, I had a hard time believing some of the things that happened…because I know from experience that God does not always answer like we want Him to. But then I know that I tend to border on the cynical side of things…does God ever answer? How do I trust Him? Americans are like that…faith just doesn’t quite make sense. Most people understand the idea of faith like Santa Claus or even a fairy godmother who sees our needs and answers if we trust Him enough. I guess my biggest fear for the movie is that people will get the wrong idea of God answering prayer. My second biggest fear is for myself: that maybe I have the wrong idea of God answering prayer.
How do I live a life with a faith that is real? The truth is, the church is not relevant. You have to look really hard to find a Christian that is not a white-washed tomb. Even the ones whose faith is real struggle to engage the world in relevant love and passion. How do I pattern my life to be different than that? How do I have a faith that is real like potatoes?
I loved the analogy of the potatoes. They planted, but the veggie grew underground. They had no idea if God’s prayers were being answered until it was time for the harvest. I think this is true a lot in ministry. You can go for years working and praying your heart out not knowing if anything is even growing inside the people you are ministering to, and then all of a sudden and without warning, harvest time arrives and you’d better be ready.
There are some things that I am sure of in the “uncertainty” of faith. I am sure that God is supreme. His will trumps my will and anyone else’s. I am certain of the fact that God’s will is good, and He is always at work. I know that God loves us so much, and everything He does flows out of that love that He has for us, although it may not always make sense at the time. I know that God is a redeemer, and He delights in taking terrible circumstances and turning them into good so that He might be brought glory. I know that He hears our prayers, and that the prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective. It is at this place where I stop because I do not understand. Maybe I have not allowed God enough uncertainty in my life to see His miracles. Maybe I have not stepped out onto the water trusting that He will keep me from sinking. How do I do this? How do I learn how to trust Him in my daily life now?
I want a life and faith that is relevant. I don’t want to be like so many “Christians” I know that do not know how to connect with those who do not know God. I want my life and my trust in God to be a clear reflection of God’s grace and love. I don’t want to get in the way.
As per the scatteredness of the theme of the movie, I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I could do a lot of good things with my life. Believe me, my bucket list is full of things that I dream of doing and becoming. However, at the end of my life, I don’t want people to walk away confused as to my theme. My life could be lived so much more powerfully if I allowed God to fill me with a passion for one thing, and I dedicated the rest of my life to that thing. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt what that passion is that God has placed in my heart: orphan care. If I choose this, I know that I must forsake all others. I want my life to speak of God’s faithfulness and care, passion and providence. It’s a scary thought. However, it’s a risk I’m willing to take. Lord, give me strength.
I want to learn how to have faith that sees mountains move. I want to be brave enough to trust God for things that seem impossible. Although life has no easy answers, there is one truth that speaks clearly no matter the circumstances: You must trust God. Your faith has got to be real, like potatoes.