Do You Really Believe?

By: Larry Tobin

Many years ago, some interesting graffiti on a wall caught my attention:

“G-d is dead.” – John

Beneath that was scrawled:

“John is dead.” – G-d.

It’s getting harder and harder nowadays to find people who will openly admit to believing in G-d.  I suspect, however, that if I polled the room to determine who believes in G-d, most if not all of you would answer in the affirmative.

Yeah, but do you really believe in G-d?

My eldest son and I loved going to baseball card shops. Sometimes we would buy some cards. A local card shop would give lottery tickets in return for purchases. The number of tickets allotted would correspond to the amount spent. We usually would not attend the occasional Sunday lotteries. This particular lottery, however, was different. The grand prize winner would get a 1973 Topps Mike Schmidt rookie card. My son really wanted this card. So, he and I – the hopeful duo – attended the lottery. But so did many others. The little card shop was packed.

None of our tickets were drawn for the lesser prizes. Then the time had finally come to draw a ticket for the grand prize. My son looked at me and stated that he really hoped we would win. I asked him if he believed we would win. He assured that that he did believe. “Yeah, but do you really believe?” I asked. He told me that he REALLY believed. Sure enough, one of our tickets was drawn. As my son took possession of the coveted card, I reminded him that G-d can make anything happen if you believe He can.

Another memory of the past involved the Baptism of my friend John. I was invited to attend this special event. The Baptism took place at a nearby lake. I had never been to a Baptism. I watched John enter the lake specially garbed with the Pastor following closely behind. The Pastor asked John to bow his head. Suddenly, the Pastor shoved John’s head underwater. When my friend arose, the Pastor asked him if he believed. A noticeably shaken John stated that he did believe. Again, down into the murky water went John’s head.  “Do you believe?”, the Pastor emphatically reiterated. John assured him that he did believe. The moment of truth had finally arrived. Again, down with the head. “What do you believe?’, shouted the Pastor. “I believe you’re trying to drown me,” responded my water-logged friend.

Yes, friends. You can’t force belief. Belief must come freely from your heart and soul. So, when you are praying to G-d this year for the coming year take the time to tell Him that you do believe in Him. No, tell Him that you REALLY BELIEVE. And also thank Him for the good things that He has done for you and yours in the past. I’m sure He’ll really appreciate it.

Shana Tova

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