In 1954, Roger Bannister broke the 4:00 minute mile, a feat thought impossible. In the video,(ww.youtube.com/watch?v=fveB-XgovgQ) you can hear the deafening roar of the crowd, but he noted that he heard very little, felt almost nothing. He was caught up in something beyond himself, beyond the thinkable. When he collapsed across the finish line, it was a mixture of sheer exhilaration and utter exhaustion, but he had done it, had proved the pundits wrong. Man could break four minutes for a mile, and live to tell about it! But something else happened that day to the collective psyche of the world’s people. They suddenly believed at a new depth. In fact, after the record fell, men would go on to break Bannister’s mark, seemingly with ease.
The spiritual lesson is not hard to apply. All of us want more of God, more personal contact, more of what we call relationship. But if we’re honest, we sometimes sense an invisible barrier of belief stopping us from digging down into the coils of our main spring for faith needed to touch the Hem of God.
One woman related to me that during a worship service God broke the silence, and changed her outlook on what relationship with Him would be like from then on. Two years later she is still practicing a new intimacy, grounded by faith, and very much in love. As I listened to her story, I thought to myself, this lady’s relationship with God sizzles! That moment had helped her run past her own barriers, and it’s held up under the test of time. It deepened her faith, and built an expectation, and yes a hunger for more of the same.
The great cloud of witnesses cheer our race. According to Paul, we are in it to win, and so we can have full confidence it’s in God’s mind we break whatever barrier exists between us. The veil of the temple was torn top to bottom, and the Holy Place given full access to us. Nothing separates us from Abba. Will it be easy to get there? (I hope you’re smiling.) Yes, and no. We must do so by faith, trusting, seeking pleading and waiting. The only other option feels lousy, that is to live with a less than, and settled for level of faith; a relationship defined by détente, rather than a union of love.