I have this hat that my dad brought back to me from a business trip to Atlanta when I was 9 or 10 years old. You can see that I’ve worn it a lot. In fact, I wore it to just about everywhere I went during the summer when I was a kid. Church camps, grandparents’ house, and other places. It became my work hat when I was in high school and remained my work hat until 4 or 5 years ago when I realized that, even after washing it, the smell wouldn’t go away. So, now it sits on my shelf. I won’t get rid of it, but it sits on the shelf where I can remember it as something valuable, but not able to be used.
I am reminded of the words that Paul shared in Galatians 6:9, “let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” The implication here is that we will face resistance to our faith, resistance to our acts of faith, the fullest evidence of faith in our lives.
There are going to be seasons in our lives where our faith feels old, worn down, and fragile. We will be tempted to put it on a shelf and admire it so as not to see it completely ruined or lost. However, we cannot put our faith on the shelf. We cannot rid ourselves of the acts of faith flowing from each of us in our daily lives.