Friday, October 23, 2009


Thomas Merton the monk had in his daily journal 46 years ago this line from Karl Barth:

"Everyone who has to contend with unbelief should be advised that they ought not to take their own unbelief too seriously. Only faith is to be taken seriously..."


Is that a line invented for today or what? What if all of our talking TV heads began their shows with that line? What if Congress made that a law? That'd be acceptable government over-reach, wouldn't it?

Knowing what to believe, whether in someone or something or yourself, is next to impossible these days. And keeping the faith once you believe is even harder.

Today you can get to unbelief before the next commercial break. And stay there forever.

I've known Bob the Leader for years and just learned the other day how he leads his company regularly through real-life scenarios, testing its beliefs to see if it is holding true in the cut-throat, competitive, construction materials industry.

More with Bob the Leader next week. Until then I'll wonder a lot about how many and how often companies and communities hold all-hands chalk-talk sessions, game-planning what they seriously believe and whether they are keeping the faith.

I like these words from Merton and Barth from so long ago because we're all in communities, whether family, work, civic, school, church, and we are surrounded and pounded relentlessly by serious unbelief these days.

All we need, these gurus tell us, is to know and then to hang on tightly to our beliefs. No matter, they say, if they're tiny or grand.

Getting serious about what your community believes means you're on your way to faith which means you're on your way to hope, which are waypoints to good, to life, to destiny.

How does this work for you? Does your company or community know what it believes? And what about its unbeliefs, fears, predjudices, angst, power-trips? Does it see them too? And take them not too seriously?

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