You're a pilgrim, traveling to a distant land, and you're chasing a promise.
I have no problem imagining little details about the voyage - trying to stay out of the sailors' way, praying the leaders are divinely inspired, knowing that any square foot of solid ground would be New Jerusalem on Earth if you could just get off that boat.
The pilgrims' level of faith, though, that's no easy thing to imagine.
- "Faith. Faith is an island in the setting sun. But proof, yeah, proof is the bottom line for everyone." - Paul Simon.
Was it an equal act of trust for the American Indians to help the early pilgrims survive? Or was that simply a matter of responding with kindness to the suffering of others, no matter what the risks might be?
- "They restored my faith and my hope by helping me." - Tyler Jones.
We think of Thanksgiving as a time to give thanks. Duh, Scott. Hello?
Stick with me, guys.
It's also a time to wonder at the power of sustained belief, and this goes far beyond "I believe I'll have another turkey leg."
- "He who promises lightly must be lacking in faith." - Lao Tzu.
Just about anything worth having in this world is a result of faith. Consider a baby learning to walk. She sees people around her tottering on two legs, so she ought to be able to do it, too.
What if our fictional girl is like so many real little girls and boys? What if, through illness or injury, she can't walk, no matter how much she believes it should be possible? What about the ships that were lost at sea while trying to cross the raging Atlantic Ocean?
Maybe their faith was lacking, or maybe they didn't pray properly, or maybe they had the rotten luck to set sail in the middle of hurricane season.
- "I am one of those who would rather sink with faith than swim without it." - Stanley Baldwin.
In the end, all great acts are acts of faith. And a great act could be as small as walking across the gym floor to ask a girl to dance. In this case, you don't need absolute faith that she'll say, "Yes."
You just need the whole-hearted belief that if she says, "No," your world won't end, as it did for so many sailors resting on the ocean floor.
At heart, you know the pilgrims made it from shore to shore. Maybe you can, too.
- "Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods." - C.S. Lewis.
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal entertainment writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.