Many years ago, I heard a story. It went something like this…
A man was driving one day in a part of his home county where he had never been before. Suddenly, his car began to shudder each time he put his foot on the accelerator. He pulled his car over to the side of the road and stopped at the first convenient spot. However, he might as well have been trying to decipher some elaborate code when he opened the bonnet, because he knew nothing about cars, and everything looked just fine to his untrained eye.
The man walked a few miles to a nearby village where he found a small hotel. He went into the bar and began talking with the barman. Eventually, he told the barman about his car and asked him if he knew of anyone who would be able to take a look at it.
The barman said he knew of only two mechanics in the village, old Joe and Bobby Grump. Right at that moment, a man who had been listening from a nearby table stood up and said, “Old Joe will be your best bet”, he continued, “Bobby will fix it alright, but he’ll take his time about it and it’ll cost you much more.” He went on, “Old Joe never had a car sitting in his lot more than 6 hours and he always, always asks a fair price”.
With this information and the directions to Old Joe’s Garage, the driver set off to find Joe.
Joe told our driver friend that he would pick up the car and call him at the hotel when the work was done.
It took only 3 hours before Joe called the hotel to let the clerk know that the man could go and collect his car.
Well, our friend, the driver, (let’s call him Dave), was very impressed at the very short time that this had taken and when he went to collect the car he found that Old Joe was, as predicted, asking a very, very fair price.
Around 3 years later, our friend, Dave, was driving near to this very same village, and, in fact, had just passed the junction that would take him to that village, when all of a sudden he heard a knocking sound coming from one of the back wheels of his new car.
Without hesitation, he turned his car around at the earliest convenience and headed straight for Old Joe’s garage. In just a couple of hours, during which time Dave had gone and had lunch at the nearby hotel, the car was fixed and Dave was on his way again, satisfied that he had once again received excellent service at a very fair price.
On his way home, Dave made himself the promise that he would tell everyone, as each pertinent opportunity arose, about Joe’s garage, as he asked himself, “how could I do any different?”
That’s the story I heard, (or as near as I can remember it being told). As with most stories, at least, the ones I like to tell, there is a point to this story.
When Dave went into the bar to look for information about a mechanic, he knew nothing. He asked at the bar because he had nowhere else to turn – it was his first convenient option.
Having received the information about Joe’s garage, Dave went believing that Joe would be able to fix his car at a fair price, and he was not disappointed.
[Before we proceed I need to ask that you please believe me when I tell you that this post is not intended to be about religion, (and certainly not about organised religion), although, if you follow one of those, then this post will certainly make some sense to you. No, I am writing about belief in anything or any person, any situation or however you wish to interpret it.]
The second time Dave went looking for Joe, he went because his experience told him that he could have faith in Joe’s service.
Now, that’s as far as the “moral of the story” went the first time I heard this story. The part in the story that I tell here about Dave saying to himself that he would tell everyone at every pertinent opportunity was my own addition.
First, Dave went to Joe on Belief.
Second time, Dave went to Joe in Faith.
My addition is this;
Now that Dave has believed, and his belief, (based on the information he received), has been proven to be sound, on the first occasion, and has gone in faith and was still not disappointed, on the second occasion, he now KNOWS that Joe will do what he says he will do and is very reliable.
You see, each time I’ve heard and told this story, until now, it has always been with the intention to demonstrate the difference between belief and faith. I now want to go further.
When you act “on hearing”, (belief), it is just that; you believe that what you have been told is true. When you act on faith, it is because you have proven, by experience, at least once that your belief was not unfounded. BUT, when you know, it’s because you have had faith in the past and have never been disappointed.
The principle that underlies my reason for writing this post is that when you have “knowledge“, faith becomes obsolete, (just as belief becomes obsolete on founding your faith in who or whatever). That is to say that when faith has been proven, rather than “tested”, it makes no sense to continue to say that you have faith – because you now know.
Knowledge comes from connecting to a deeper spiritual, (not necessarily religious) dimension that lies within each and every one of us. It is reserved for Level 4 Players of The Game of Life, (and higher).
In this blog, I will write, primarily, about Level 1 and Level 2 Players. There may be some references made to Level 3 and Level 4 Players, however, those levels will be reserved mainly for my Patreon Page, (Opening soon).
What does Dave’s story mean for us?
That will depend on the level at which you have chosen to play The Game of Life.
- Most Level 1 Players will go to almost any length to avoid words and concepts pertaining to spirituality, belief, and faith, (and will probably have stopped reading this post by now). To them, knowledge is gained in education and in what they see, smell, and hear, taste, or touch. In short, Level 1 Players’ “knowledge” is limited to the physical realm.
- Level 2 Players have some level of understanding about faith and what it means to “follow” their faith. They are usually quite good at telling everyone what they believe and that they should believe it too.
- Level 3 Players understand that everyone has a different experience and that each individual is on their own “path of discovery” or “spiritual path”. Some Level 3 Players can still be quite judgemental of others who do not believe as they do.
- Level 4 Players know that they are always connected to a higher wisdom, should they choose to listen, (I will refer to that in a different way in future posts). Level 4 Players know what they know and are well aware of what they do not know. They know when it is appropriate to discuss their understanding of how life works and when it would be wiser to leave it alone.
It must be understood that the levels are not solid “states” and that many players of The Game of Life will move between levels on any given day according to their given circumstances and many other factors.
I will discuss this further in future posts.
Do you recognise yourself in any of the “levels” that I have described here?
It could be in your spiritual/religious understanding, or your political beliefs or in your enthusiasm for your favorite sports team for example.