Back when I worked with Lifetime Guarantee, Dr. Bill Gillham frequently made a point by asking: "How did you forget your high school algebra?"
The illustration goes that you didn't forget it by focusing all your energy on x2. You forgot your high school algebra by getting busy and concentrating on other things.
In the twenty plus years since I worked there, I've learned that the principle works for just about everything. Rather than focusing on eradicating the negative, it is way more useful to get busy with the positive.
Which brings us to the theme this year...
Kids are sparkly. They believe. But somehow across the years, the evidence mounts up for the other side. Disappointment. Broken relationships. The confusion of living in a world that doesn't sync with what the heart knows in some unwritten rhythm that it should be.
And it is easy to stay there. To be a cynic. Steve Taylor's words from the album "I Predict 1990" are all too true, "Don't you know by now why the chosen are few? It's harder to believe than not to."
And yet...there is a fragile magic to belief.
Thought belief can't create something if what is believed doesn't exist, belief in something true can actually help give birth to it. When the writer of the book of Hebrews penned, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen..." or when Jesus says "Your faith has healed you" then the person with the belief actually takes part.
Remember the part in Peter Pan, where we all clapped to bring Tinkerbell back to life? (Aw, c'mon, you know you did this!) That scene has power beyond a writer's idea for the play because the hearts of the people in the audience know that there is power in belief. It is the reason we all love Santa. Not because Santa is real, but because something like Santa is. It is why most of us are moved by Kermit-the-Frog's song, Rainbow Connection. We identify with "the lovers, the dreamers and me." We know that there is power in the poets...in the ones who imagine...because there is power in the believing.
For 2009, belief is the one idea, the single verb I want to focus on. More than anything else, I want to believe. To be part of the bringing about.